An effective preparative isoelectric focusing method has been developed using the LKB Immobiline system in a vertical slab gel apparatus. Advantages of this procedure are ease of sample application, excellent resolution, and the direct visualization of focused bands. Narrow pH gradients have been used to separate apolipoprotein E3 isoforms (pH gradient 4.9-5.9) and to resolve the apolipoprotein C mixture (pH gradient 4.0-5.0). Recoveries ranged from 40 to 70%. The method should be valuable for protein and isoform purification.