Gelvatol: Mounting Media


PVA- Sigma Chemical Cat. #P-8136

Glycerol- Sigma Chemical Cat. #G-9012

Sodium Azide- Fisher Chemical Cat. #S227-100



  1. Add 21 g PVA to 42 mL glycerol.
  2. Add 52 mL dH20.
  3. Add a few crystals of sodium azide.
  4. Add 106 mL Tris (.2M, pH=8.5).
  5. Stir with low heat for a few hours or until reagents dissolved.
  6. Clarify the mixture by centrifugation at 5000g for 15 minutes.
  7. Aliquot and store either at 4 degree C.

This protocol is not exact. You will have to add PVA in step 4 until the solution is clear and is slightly less viscous than molasses. Refrigerate the beaker of gelvatol overnight at 4 degrees, after step 5 and before step 6, and check it in the morning to be sure that the viscosity is now that of molasses. If it is, continue on to step 6. If it is too viscous, add a little more glycerol to bring the viscosity down and then go on to step 6. If it is not viscous enough, add more PVA with heat and refrigerate for a few more hours to check the viscosity before going on to step 6.

0.2 M Tris buffer, pH8.5:

  1. Add 12.1 g of Trizma base, and add 500 dH20. Stir until dissolved.
  2. Bring pH down to 8.5 with concentrated HCl.