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electrophoresis (ĭlĕkˌtrōfərēˈsĭs): see colloid.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also cataphoresis), the migration of colloidal particles or ionized macromolecules under the influence of an external electric field. Electrophoresis was discovered by F. F. Reuss in 1807; it is regarded as the most important electrokinetic phenomenon. An approximate relation between the velocity v of the moving particles and the electric field strength E is given by Smoluchowski’s equation:

where η is the viscosity of the medium, D is the dielectric constant, and £ is the electrokinetic potential.

Electrophoresis is used in electrochemistry to study the electric double layer and ion adsorption on a surface; it also has medical applications. In industry it is used to isolate natural rubber from latex, purify water, and separate kaolin from sand. It is used in biochemistry to analyze, separate, and purify biopolymers (chiefly proteins), bacterial cells, viruses, amino acids, and vitamins.

The practical application of electrophoresis began after the Swedish scientist A. Tiselius designed a special apparatus for the moving-boundary electrophoresis of proteins in solution (1937). Electrophoretic methods involving the use of inert carriers, such as paper and gels, have gained the widest application. They have been given the general designation of zone electrophoresis because fractions of the separate substances form separate immiscible zones in the carrier. Electrophoresis is frequently combined with other methods of separating organic compounds, for example, with chromatography. A technique has been developed for concentrating the electrophoretic zones of biopolymers in gels, which increases the resolving power of the method (disk electrophoresis). The combining of the antigen-antibody reaction with electrophoresis was the basis for the creation of immunoelectrophoresis. Electrophoretic analysis of biological fluids, such as blood serum (used primarily to study proteins), is widely used in the diagnosis of many diseases.


Larskii, E. G. Melody zonal’nogo elektroforeza. Moscow, 1971.
Dukhin, S. S., and B. V. Deriagin. Elektroforez. Moscow, 1976.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(physical chemistry)
An electrochemical process in which colloidal particles or macromolecules with a net electric charge migrate in a solution under the influence of an electric current. Also known as cataphoresis.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


The science of objects moving in a fluid when an electric charge is applied. Electrophoresis is the basis of E Ink's electronic paper display technology (see E Ink).
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
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We used pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis and genotyping to compare clinical isolates of Bordetella pertussis recovered since the early 1990s in Finland and France, 2 countries with similar histories of long-term mass vaccination with whole-cell pertussis vaccines.
In this way, the electrified spike separated the molecules by size and electric charge--a process known as electrophoresis.
Tokyo, Japan, Sept 6, 2005 - (JCNN) - The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has developed a fully automated two-dimensional electrophoresis system in collaboration with the Tokyo University of Technology, Sharp, Toppan Printing and Astellas Pharma.

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