Surf-Blot Antibody Screening System

Eliminates cutting blots into strips

Surf-Blot Instructions (html version)

Surf-Blot Instructions (pdf version)

View this video on how our Surf-Blot will make your blots easier

Ordering Information

Why cut your blot into strips? The SURF-BLOT can be used for any technique that formerly required cutting the blot into vertical strips. The SURF-BLOT clamps liquid channels tightly onto the surface of a blot. In a typical experiment, antigens are electrophoresed on a flat-topped gel and blotted. The blot is then clamped into the SURF-BLOT and antibody solutions are incubated in the liquid channels. After rinsing, the blot is removed from the SURF-BLOT and the blot visualization step is performed on the intact blot. Since there are no narrow strips to line up, the entire screening set can be compared on the intact blot. The SURF-BLOT is the only slot blot device that has a convex stainless steel backing plate, and has been shown leak-free by the HIV testing lab of the Harvard School of Public Health. Results of this study.

The SURF-BLOT is most commonly used to compare the quality of commercially prepared antibodies, as there is lot of variability from suppliers, and even from different batches from the same supplier. Only about 100 ul of diluted antibody is needed per test compared with 2 to 5 ml needed for strip testing, saving your valuable antibodies. The results are side-by-side, not in separate containers. Another common use of the SURF-BLOT is to optimize blot processing by testing varying ratios of the primary and secondary antibodies. The SURF-BLOT was originally designed to screen monoclonals1 or polyclonals2. The SURF-BLOT 10 and 10.5 are perfect for Grid-Blot screening, a type of antibody screening that does not use a western blot, but rather stripes of target protein bound to a membrane.3,4 The SURF-BLOT has a favorable review in Biocompare by Dr. Campa, whose lab measures the immune response of many patients. From Dr Campa: "Without this device, much of our research would have been dead in the water"6 The resulting U.S. patent application 20120003225 figure 5 display human sera autoantibodies that can be used to detect and treat cancer. The SURF-BLOT allows the immune response of several patients to be measured simultaneously. (see figure 5 below)


Human autoantibodies in response to cancer
Data courtesy of Dr. Michael Campa, Duke University Medical Center

Antibody screening with the Surf-Blot


  1. Mukherjee, J., et. al., Infection and Immunity, Vol 70, pp. 612-619 (2002). Fig 1 shows monoclonal antibody screening (PMID: 11796590).
  2. Piccoli, G. et al., Journal of Physiology, Vol. 543.2, pp. 481-494 (2002). Figure 3. (PMID: 12205183).
  3. Lane, R.D., et. al., Hybridoma, Vol. 8, pp. 661-669 (1989). Grid-Blot screening does not require electrophoresis or blotting. (PMID: 2693340)
  4. Reese, G. et. al., Journal of Chromatography B, Vol. 756, pp. 151-156 (2001). allergic patient screening uses ten times less antibody than ELISA sera screening.(PMID: 11419706)
  6. "Autoantibody research using the Surf-Blot System" (2013) Review.

Other references can be found in the Bibliography.


Order a unit that has channels approximately the same length as the gel. Blot gel to a membrane that is 1 cm longer than the gel. Units with 2.5 mm channels can be easily loaded individually or with a multi-channel pipet. Surf-Blot 5055 is recommended for BioRad Mini Protean. Surf-Blot 5085 is recommended for BioRad Criterion®. Surf-Blot 5075 is recommended for most other mini gels.

Catalog Number Product
Best For Number of Channels Channel Length Channel Width Blot Width Sample Volume Price (U.S. $)
5006 Surf-Blot 6 8 cm. tall minigels 30 6.0 cm. 1.5 mm. 8.9 cm. 60-90 µl 240.00
5007 Surf-Blot 7 8 or 10 cm tall minigels 30 7.0 cm. 1.5 mm. 8.9 cm. 70-105 µl 240.00
5009 Surf-Blot 9 10 cm. minigels 30 8.9 cm. 1.5 mm. 8.9 cm. 90-135 µl 240.00
5010 Surf-Blot 10 Grid-Blot experiments 30 10.1 cm. 1.5 mm. 8.9 cm. 100-150 µl 240.00
5013 Surf-Blot 13 15 cm tall gels 30 13.5 cm. 1.5 mm. 8.9 cm. 130-185 µl 260.00
5055 Surf-Blot 5.5 8 cm. tall minigels 21 5.5 cm. 2.5 mm. 9.3 cm. 100-140 µl 240.00
5075 Surf-Blot 7.5 10 cm. tall minigels 21 7.5 cm. 2.5 mm. 9.3 cm. 100-200 µl 240.00
5085 Surf-Blot 8.5 Criterion® gels 33 8.5 cm. 2.5 mm. 14.7 cm. 100-220 µl 240.00
5105 Surf-Blot 10.5 Grid-Blot experiments 21 10.5 cm. 2.5 mm. 9.3 cm. 100-300 µl 240.00
5135 Surf-Blot 13.5 large format gels 33 13.5 cm. 2.5 mm. 14.7 cm. 100-350 µl 290.00

Criteron is a registered trademark of BioRad Co.


Scientist: I have multiple tissues and am looking at protein expression of five proteins in each tissue using the Surf-Blot. I have antibodies to each of the five proteins. How can I quantitate by western blot the proteins in more than one tissue per gel?

Idea Scientific: If casting your own gels, you could make a three well comb, and examine three tissues per mini gel. Alternatively, we remove the lane dividers from precast 10 well mini gels to make wells of the size we need. We use a bent paper clip to remove the lane dividers from 1mm thick gels. This works best on gels that have a stacking gel. Here is a gel with the acrylamide between lanes 2 and 3, and lanes 3 and 4 removed. That well is large enough to be covered by four 2.5 mm antibody channels, or seven 1.5 mm antibody channels. Each 10 well mini gel gives three of these large wells, and a narrow marker well.