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Gels Stains Comparision and Selection Guide

Choose an appropriate protein gel (SDS-PAGE) stain.

Protein Gel Stain Selection GuideOnce protein bands have been separated by electrophoresis, they can be visualized using different methods of in-gel detection. Each staining method has particular advantages and disadvantages, including overall convenience, detection limit and compatibility with downstream applications and detection instruments.

The following charts provide a general guide to selecting a protein stain for a given application based on detection method, sensitivity and compatibility with mass spectrometry.

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Protein Electrophoresis

Protein Gel Staining

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Stains for Protein Gels (PAGE)

Table of Total Protein Stains

Thermo Scientific Gel Stains for detection of total protein. Some products require additional reagents to be supplied by user. The number of steps includes multiple gel washes, solution changes, destaining steps, etc. Times include gel wash steps and all steps required for best sensitivity in a mini-gel. When less sensitivity is required, shorter staining and destaining times may be used with some protocols.
Product Name Components
(Steps)
Time
Required
Detection
Method
Limit of
Detection
Mass Spec.
Compatible
Krypton Fluorescent Protein Stain 1 (7) 2 hr 40 min fluorescent 0.25ng Yes
GelCode Blue Safe Protein Stain 2 (5) 2 hr 15 min colorimetric 9ng Yes
GelCode Blue Stain Reagent 1 (5) 2 hr 15 min colorimetric 8ng Yes
Imperial Protein Stain 1 (5) 2 hr 15 min colorimetric 3ng Yes
Pierce Silver Stain for Mass Spec 6 (17) 1 hr 13 min colorimetric 0.25ng Yes
Pierce Silver Stain Kit 4 (15) 2 hr 25 min colorimetric 0.25ng Yes
Pierce Color Silver Stain Kit 4 (9) 4 hr 5 min colorimetric 0.1ng Yes
Pierce Zinc Reversible Stain Kit 3 (4) 14 min colorimetric 0.25ng Yes

Table of Functional Group Protein Stains

Thermo Scientific Gel Stains for detection of specific classes of proteins. Some products require additional reagents to be supplied by user. The number of steps includes multiple gel washes, solution changes, destaining steps, etc. Times include gel wash steps and all steps required for best sensitivity in a mini-gel. When less sensitivity is required, shorter staining and destaining times may be used with some protocols.
Product Name Components
(Steps)
Time
Required
Detection
Method
Limit of
Detection
Mass Spec.
Compatible
Pierce Glycoprotein Stain 5 (11) 2 hr 40 min colorimetric 160ng not tested
6xHis Protein Tag Stain Kit 4 (9) 2 hr 20 min fluorescent 200ng of 35kDa
His-tagged protein
not tested
Phosphoprotein Staining Kit 9 (12) 3 hr 45 min
+ overnight
destain
colorimetric 80ng phosvitin,
160ng beta-casein
not tested

Browse all protein electrophoresis products


Instructions | MSDS | CofA
Product Instructions | MSDS | CofA  

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