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August 1, 1966

Paper Electrophoresis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pathology and the Clinical Chemistry Laboratory, University of Chicago School of Medicine, Chicago.

JAMA. 1966;197(5):360-361. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110050098023

Electrophoresis is the movement of charged particles in solution under the influence of an external electrical field. Paper electrophoresis employs filter paper strips soaked in buffer solution, usually diethylbarbituric acid and barbituric acid dissolved in alkali (Veronal buffer), pH 8.6. A small volume of serum is placed on the paper and a direct current passed for several hours. The serum proteins separate into five zones, which can be made visible by staining with dyes. The protein migrating farthest is albumin; then, in order, come α1-, α2-, β-, and γ-globulin. Occasionally, the β zone is split into β1 and β2 zones. By use of a densitometer, the amount of dye in each zone may be measured and recorded as a tracing with peaks corresponding to each dyed zone (Fig 1).1

Quantitation of Serum Proteins.—  Paper electrophoresis provides only an approximate value for the serum proteins. Analysis