Modeling of formation and prevention of a pure water zone in capillary isoelectric focusing with narrow pH range carrier ampholytes.

Takácsi-Nagy, Anna; Kilár, Ferenc; Thormann, Wolfgang (2017). Modeling of formation and prevention of a pure water zone in capillary isoelectric focusing with narrow pH range carrier ampholytes. Electrophoresis, 38(5), pp. 677-688. Wiley-VCH 10.1002/elps.201600314

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This paper comprises a continuation of computer simulation studies dealing with carrier ampholyte based CIEF in presence of narrow pH gradients. With this technique, amphoteric sample components with pI values outside the pH gradient are migrating isotachophoretically toward the cathode or anode whereas components with pI values within the gradient become focused. In order to understand the processes occurring in presence of the electric field, the behavior of both carrier ampholytes and amphoteric sample components is investigated by computer modeling. Characteristics of two pH unit gradients with end components having pI values at or around 7.00 and conditions that lead to the formation of a water zone at neutrality were investigated. Data obtained reveal that a zone of water is formed in focusing with carrier ampholytes when the applied pH range does not cover the neutral region, ends at pH 7.00 or begins at pH 7.00. The presence of additional amphoteric components that cover the neutrality region prevent water zone formation under current flow. This situation is met in experiments with narrow pH gradients that end or begin around neutrality. Simulation data reveal that no water zone evolves when atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolved in the catholyte causes the migration of carbonic acid (in the form of carbonate and/or hydrogen carbonate ions) from the catholyte through the focusing structure. An electrolyte change in the electrode solution does not have an impact on the focusing part but does change the isotachophoretic pattern migrating behind the leading ion.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute for Infectious Diseases > Laboratory for Clinical Pharmacology

UniBE Contributor:

Thormann, Wolfgang








Wolfgang Thormann

Date Deposited:

01 Mar 2017 13:07

Last Modified:

05 Mar 2017 01:32

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Carbonic acid; Carrier ampholytes; Isoelectric focusing; Narrow pH gradient; Simulation; Water zone




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