High-resolution computer simulation of electrophoretic mobilization in isoelectric focusing

Electrophoresis. 2008 Apr;29(8):1676-86. doi: 10.1002/elps.200700807.


Cationic and anionic electrophoretic mobilization for focusing of hemoglobins (Hb's) in the presence of 100 carrier ampholytes covering a pI range of 6.00-7.98 was studied by computer simulation at a constant current density of 300 A/m(2). Electropherograms that would be produced by whole column imaging and by single detectors placed at different locations along the focusing column are presented. Upon mobilization, peak heights of the Hb zones decrease, but the zones retain a relatively sharp constant profile and are migrating at a constant velocity. A further peak decrease occurs during readjustment at the locations of the original buffer/column interfaces, indicating that detection sensitivity is the lowest at these locations. An anionic carrier ampholyte mobility smaller than that of its cationic species produces a cathodic drift which is smaller than the transport rate used for electrophoretic mobilization. Compared to the case with equal mobilities of carrier ampholyte species, a small increase (decrease) is predicted for the cationic (anionic) mobilization rate within the focusing column. Simulation data suggest that electrophoretic mobilization after focusing and focusing with concurrent electrophoretic mobilization are comparable isotachophoretic processes that occur when there is an uninterrupted flux of an ion through the focusing column. Cathodic drift caused by unequal mobilities of the species of carrier ampholytes, electrophoretic mobilization, and decomposition occurring at the pH gradient edges are related electrophoretic processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Isoelectric Focusing*