Water Soluble Azo Initiator [VA-044]

What is the role of VA-044?
And can some other regents to substitute it?


  • VA-044 is a thermal initiator. At low temperatures, it is inert, but at higher temperatures (like 37C) it creates free radicals in solution. These free radicals initiate polymerization of the acrylamide monomers to form a crosslinked hydrogel network.

    There are other thermal initiators that could be used to achieve the same results. However, many of these may require temperatures much higher than 37C to initiate polymerization.
  • mooremoore Posts: 2
    Thank you. Kristin. When we prepare SDS-PAGE, we add AP and TEMED as a initiator. So, if I can use AP and TEMED as a substitute for VA-044. Because it is easy to get them.
  • Please see this thread for discussion on using TEMED as an initiator: http://forum.claritytechniques.org/discussion/24/acrylamide-polymerisation-with-temed#latest

    It may not be the best choice, although I cannot say that we've tried it.
  • As Kristin mentioned, VA-044 is the best option for the CLARITY technique since it has a relatively low decomposition temperature and is not very expensive (at least in the U.S.). TEMED works for making gels but in this process has a tendency to polymerize before perfusing throughout the tissue in whole organs.
  • hutchpdhutchpd Posts: 3
    edited March 2014
    I'm curious if anyone has tried azobis cyanovaleric acid as a water-soluble initiator for acrylamide polymerization? (as an alternative to VA-044, which is harder to procure)
  • ElliottElliott Posts: 4
    VA-044 should be very easy to procure. It is available from Wako Chemicals (877-714-1920).
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