Humidifying immunostaining procedures

From:Gayle Callis <>

By stainers, are you using automated stainers?  or a benchtop system (home
grown!) for manual staining?  

Montana suffers from constant low humidity and we combat drying by adding
some normal serum to buffer, keeping in mind your secondary antibody host.
We use goat, horse, Bovine serum albumin in concentrations of 0.1 to 0.2%.
 This tidge of protein in buffer helps prevent drying while handling the
slides and doesn't create staining background. Humidity chambers are as
high as we can obtain with wet towels, whatever.  We can incubate for many
hours at RT (lab averages around 80F!) without drying.  We experience no
drying, usually a technician handling error (slowness!) and prefer barrier
slides to hold more buffer or antibody aliquot (100 ul).  Pap pens can
provide barrier. 

Gayle Callis
Veterinary Molecular Biology
Montana State University
Bozeman MT 59717-3610
406 994-4705
406 994-4303

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