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Methods Mol Biol. 2018;1853:259-268. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-8745-0_30.

Paper Adsorbents Remove Coomassie Blue from Gel Destain and Used Gel Stain in an Environment-Friendly Manner.

Dorri Y1,2, Kurien BT3,4,5.

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Diabetes and Endocrinology Section, Department of Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.
Arthritis and Clinical Immunology, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.
Section of Endocrinology and Diabetes, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.
Department of Arthritis and Clinical Immunology, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.


Coomassie Brilliant Blue (CBB), used to stain protein gels, is known to be toxic. Therefore, laboratories do not discard used CBB into the sink owing to the possibility of it contaminating drinking water supplies. We tested the ability of various paper adsorbents to adsorb CBB released from gels during destaining. The efficiency was as follows-Kimwipes > Teri towels > multifold towels > Whatman numbers 1 and 3 filter papers. Addition of three Kimwipes during destaining helped adsorb the dye released from a CBB-stained mini-gel. Stain removal with Kimwipes helps reduce destain use, organic waste accumulation, enable recycling of nonradioactive destaining solution and is 7.5-fold cheaper than an available method for CBB disposal. Next, we used Kimwipes to deplete the dye from a used CBB staining solution awaiting proper disposal by our Institutional Safety Office. Seventy five Kimwipes successfully helped remove the dye from a 0.05% CBB staining solution in 5-10 min. The blue Kimwipes did not release the CBB stain even when squeezed dry after incubation in various salts, water, or acid solutions for 5 weeks. The CBB removed thus can be simply disposed of as solid waste and will not leach out from solid landfills. Kimwipes, thus, enables CBB disposal in an environmentally friendly manner and allows for recycling of destaining solution.


Coomassie Brilliant Blue; Environment-friendly destaining; Gel destaining; Kimwipes; SDS-PAGE; Two-dimensional electrophoresis

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