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I am reading a journal paper and I am looking at the materials and methods section. Regarding the Western blot method in the paper, I have come across the following statement:

Proteins were separated by 4 –12% or 8% SDS-PAGE and electroblotted to nitrocellulose transfer membrane.

I am not sure what is meant by '4-12% or 8% SDS-PAGE' in the above statement. Do the percentage values refer to the percentage of acrylamide in the gel? Any insights are appreciated.

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Do the percentage values refer to the percentage of acrylamide in the gel?

Yes. The 8% gel is 8 g acrylamide per 100 mL. The “4-12%” gel is a gradient gel, which are useful for separating proteins over a large range of sizes. Read more about the uses and formulations of gradient gels here.

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