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Super Fast Immunoblotting

Super Fast Immunoblotting

Sometimes a new product comes along and you just know that it is going to make your life easier. The SNAP i.d. protein detection system from Millipore falls into that category.

In a nutshell, SNAP i.d. is a nifty little gadget that fits in to the immunoblotting protocol after the membrane transfer step. There it dramatically speeds up immunoblotting by using a vacuum, rather than diffusion, to drive regents (antibodies and wash buffers) through the membrane.

The speed improvements that Millipore report are quite remarkable; 20 seconds for blocking, 10 minutes for each antibody incubation and just 3×20 seconds for the wash steps. This reduces the immunodetection step to just 20-30min, compared to 4 hours with the standard protocol.

This not only makes routine blotting even more routine, but faster blotting times also make it easier to optimise protocols for new antibodies. To help with this, SNAP i.d. has two chambers, to allow a pair of membranes to be run in parallel. The automation of these steps also means more reproducibilty from experiment to experiment.

Add to this that SNAP i.d. requires less concentrated reagents, and lower volumes, than standard blotting and this thing starts to look pretty attractive. If you agree, you can find more info on SNAP i.d. right here.

If you are using SNAP i.d., let us know what you think of it. Or if you don’t have one but thing it looks good, try out a demo model and post your thoughts here.


  1. Joselito Bcrespo on June 10, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Hi all,

    I have beedn used Snap.i and it is very fast. We blocked only 5 seconds. But is importan to blocked with BSA not milk, because milk can obture the Device. 10 min per antibody, and very quickly washes. It is amazing. I dind try to rescue the antibody for reusing them. But, it maybe possible too.

    Hope that helps


  2. Claire on November 18, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    I got the snap id back in July. I still do primary ab incubation in a tray because i was getting clogging and haven’t had time to optimise the blocking buffer for that. I do secondary and all washes in it though and it works fine and saves me a lot of time. In those conditions I can reuse their cassettes so far up to 5-6 times, maybe more. No background problems or anything.

  3. Nick on April 6, 2009 at 4:56 am

    Thanks everyone. It is great to get this feedback. Maybe its not so “super” or “fast” after all. Useful info for the community.

  4. CC on April 5, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Just like the person above, we have this in our lab and no one uses it. Besides the cons that he has mentioned, I find that the band resolution is very poor – not publication quality, along with high background.

    The antibody needs to be about 3 times more than traditional westerns. Yes, the brochure says 3X in 1/3 of volume, but if I remember correctly, the minimum volume needed for SNAP ID is 5ml (I think). In our lab, we typically incubate membranes in 3-5ml antibody/milk solution. So with SNAP ID, you would use more antibody. You would also have to purchase the accessories, of which some are not reusable.

    We never thought of all these factors until we bought it. For me, I think it just doesn’t live up to the hype.

  5. Eric on March 31, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    We have a SNAP i.d. unit, but almost no one uses it. Most of us do primary antibody incubations overnight, so those don’t change. The fact that we’d have to re-optimize blotting protocols from literature protocols for the exact same antibodies is also a negative. In general, everyone just seems to do westerns the old-fashioned way, and it works just fine. The amount of hands-on time is very little, in any case, so there isn’t much of a motivation to change.

  6. Kate on March 30, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    I’ve never used this product, but I imagine that for many antibodies, you can probably cut down the incubation time considerably. I found this out by accidentally putting an antibody on my membrane that I didn’t want. I realized this AS SOON as I put the milk/antibody on the blot and immediately removed it, washed extensively, etc. I estimate that the antibody was on the membrane for no more than 10 seconds.

    Sure enough, the blot showed up just as pretty as if I had incubated it the normal “hour.”

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