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Publication numberUS3869365 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 4, 1975
Filing dateDec 12, 1973
Priority dateDec 19, 1972
Also published asDE2363195A1, DE2363195B2
Publication numberUS 3869365 A, US 3869365A, US-A-3869365, US3869365 A, US3869365A
InventorsSunden Bengt Fritiof
Original AssigneeLkb Produkter Ab
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method in counter flow isotachophoresis
US 3869365 A
A method for fixing the sample in a certain position in a counter flow isotachophoresis column comprises the adjustment of voltage and counterflow values to a constant at which the power from the electric field and the power from the counterflow compensate each other at the desired position of the sample.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

11111100 States Patent 1191 Sunden Mar. 4, 1975 METHOD llN COUNTER FLOW [5 6] References Cited ISOTACHOIPHORESIS I UNITED STATES PATENTS [75] Inventor: Bengt Fritiof Sundn, Alvsjo, 3,453,200 7/1969 Allington.. 204/301 Sweden 3,649,498 3/1972 Pretoriusetal. 204/1806 3,649,499 3/1972 Virtanen et a1. 204/180 R] gn G- od ter om 3,705,845 12/1972 Everaerts 204/180 R Sweden 3,712,859 1/1973 Dilworth 204/180 G [22] Flled: 1973 Primary Examiner-Howard S. Williams [21] Appl. N0.: 423,997 Assistant E.\aminer-.A. C. Prescott a [30] Foreign Application Priority Data 7 [5,7] ABSTRACT v Dec 97 I972 Sweden {6594/75 A method for fixing the sample in a certain pos tion in v 7 a counter flow isotachophoresis column comprises the 7 adjustment of voltage and counterflow values. to a 204/180 constant at which'the power from the electric field [58] Fie'ld G S and the power from the counterflow compensate each 1 204/299 other at the desired position of the sample.

8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures A diff.

PATENTEB AR 41975 sum 1 95 g ionized sample comprising ions of a certain polarity takes place by introducing the sample in a column arranged between two electrodes, a leading electrolyte, comprising ions of the same polarity but having a higher mobility than the sample, being introduced in the column between the sample and the electrodetowards which said ions migrate when a voltage is applied to the electrodes, and a terminating electrolyte comprising ions of said polarity having a lower mobility than that of the sample ions being introduced between the sample and the other electrode, the leading electrolyte being supplied to the column under pressure so as to bring the electrolyte to flow in a direction towards the sample. Isotachophoresis is described more in detail, e.g. in Analytica Chemica Acta 38 (1967) pages 233-237 under the name ofDisplacement electrophoresis and is also described in the Swedish Pat. No.

340,376 and corresponding US Pat. No. 3,705,845. As appears from these publications conventional isotachophoresis suffers from the drawback that if the ion concentrations are low and the differences in mobility of the sample ions are small, a very long column is re quired which means that in order to obtain suffici'ent field strength in the column, very high voltages are necessary. The length of the column could, however, be

.reduced significantly, if-one applies a so called counter flow of the leading electrolyte, i.e. this electrolyte is pumped in a'direction opposite that of the sample ions; (See e.g. Preets and Pfeifer, Analytica Chemica Acta 38 (1967) pages 225-260.') For in such isotachophoresis it is possible to obtain a separation without moving the boundary between sample and the leading electrolytein the column. By reducing the length of the column, the required field strength could thereby be ob tained by using considerably lower voltages. The problem is, however, to choose the amplitude ofthe counter flow and the electrical current in the column in such a way that the sample is in a substantially fixed position until the separation is completed and an equilibrium has taken place. In order to solve these problems, one could observe the border between leading electrolyte and the first zone of the sample and continuously, manually'adjust the counter flow in order to keep this boundary in a fixed position. This means, however, that the apparatus must be manually controlled during the complete separation, and furthermore, it is difficult manually to provide the very small changes of the counter flow which are required not to disturb the separation. From the Swedish Pat. No. 340,376 and said US. Pat. 3,705,845 it is, furthermore, known to auto-' mate the adjustment procedure by using a detector which detects said boundary, and when the boundary moves compensates this movement by changing the amplitude of the counter flow. The drawback of this method is that it requires an extra detector and electronic circuitry for controlling the counter flow, which means that the apparatus will be quite expensive. Furthermore, it is required that the boundary is sharply defined since'this boundary is the parameter from which the regulation is based. Since counter flow isotachophoresis is mainly used when the components of the sample are difficult to separate this boundary will, at least in the beginning, be rather diffuse which makes the control uncertain.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a method for automatic control of the counter flow and the voltage across the column so as to keep the sample in'a fixed position without the requirement of any extra detector and appertaining electronic circuitry.

The invention will now be described in detail, reference being made to the enclosed drawing in which:

FIG. 1 schematically shows the process of ion separa tion in isotachophoresis,

FIG. 2 shows an apparatus for carrying 'out the method according to the invention, and

FIG. 3 by means of diagram explains the working principle of the apparatus according to FIG. 2.

In FIG. *1, reference 1 denotes a column in which an anode 5 and a cathode 4 are arranged. It is, furthermore, presumed that the sample to be separated is introduced in the part of the column denoted S, the sam- 'ple comprising two different anions C and C of which C is supposed to have a higher mobility than C The part of the column denoted L is filled with the above described leading electrolytewhich consists of anions A having a higher mobility than all anions in the sample. The part of the column T closed to the cathode is filled with an electrolyte comprising an anion B having a mobility which is lower than that of the anions in the sample. When a. direct voltage is sup plied to the electrodes 4 and 5, the anions will migrate towards the anode 5. Because of the different mobility of the anions a zonewise and stepwise growing voltage gradient will be obtained across the zones L, S, and T,

respectively. The voltage gradient across the zone S will, however, imply that the ions within this zone are separated according to their mobility so that the ions C which have the higher mobility, are located close to the leading electrolyte and the ions C; with the lower mobility are located close to the terminating electrolyte. When a voltage is supplied to the column, the anions of the sample will thus be separated and after the separation, the different zones of the column will migrate towards the anode 5 with a velocity which is dependent upon the mobility of the ion A, a zonewise, growing potential being obtained across the column. The thus formed zones will be very stable, since if an anion-from one zone e.g. diffuses from its original zone into a zone in front of this zone, the anion will due to the lower potential gradient in the zone in front obtain a reduced velocity and be brought back into its original zone. In the same way an anion which diffuses into a zone behind its original zone will be brought back to its original zone because of the higher voltage gradient in the zone behind. In order to detect the dif ferent zones and their lengths one preferably uses the stepwise growing potential. One could e.g. measure the ions of the sample is small, a fairly long column is required for the separation which means that in order to obtain a sufficient field strength a very high voltage must be applied to the electrodes which involves complicated design and safety problems. The length of the column could, however, be considerably reduced if, during the separation, leading electrolyte is supplied to the column as a counter flow. The amplitude of the counter flow could then preferably be chosen so as to keep the boundary between the zones L and S in a fixed position. As mentioned above, the control of the counter flow is either carried out manually by means of observations of the zone boundary and by increasing or reducing the counter'flow pressure when this boundary requirements of any controlling detector.

In FIG. 2 there is shown schematically an apparatus for carrying outcounter flow isotachophoresis according to the invention. In FIG. 2, reference 1 denotes a separation column in which the sample can be introduced via an input port 3 between a terminating and a leading electrolyte T and L, respectively. A. voltage is applied to the column and the electrolyte by means of a voltage supply 2 which is connected to electrodes 4 and 5, respectively, whereby the sample S migrates into the column. The power supply 2 is designed in such a column. Provided that a constant voltage V0 is applied to the column, the current will then successively decrease as the contents of leading electrolyte of the column gradually decreases whereas the contents of terminating electrolyte, i.e. a component having a lower conductivity will increase. When the sample reaches the bottom end of the column, the column will be completely filled with terminating electrolyte and the current will have a constant value. At a certain point of time t0 the current will thus have a certain value 10 which defines the position S0 of the sample in the column. If now in the column one ofa number ofdifferent counter flows Cfl, Cf2, and Cf3 where Cfl Cf2 Cf3 are generated, the corresponding current diagrams will turn out as shown in FIG. 3b. For a certain position of the sample S10, S20, and S30, respectively for the different counter flows, the counter flow will compensate the forward driving effect and the current through the column will thus be constant. If the voltage V0 is increased to a value Vl VO, these positions of the sample will be moved downwards along the column, i.e. the voltage will drive the sample further into the column. If thus, for a certain sample and certain leading and terminating electrolytes, the counter flow and the voltage for which the sample will be fixed in a certain position are known, this voltageand counter flow values could be adjusted at the beginning of the experiment and the sample will then migrate to the preway that either an adjustable constant voltage or an adprovided with an input port 13 from whicha counter flow of leading electrolyte can be generated by means ofa syringe l5 driven by a motor 16. The column is further provided with a first detector 10 for detection of the separated zones. This detector is connected to a plotter 12 via an amplifier 11. The apparatus is, fur thermore, provided with a second detector 7 which could be used for stabilizing the locations of the zones. This detector is in a corresponding manner connected to a plotter 9 via an amplifier 8.

The use of the apparatus according to FIG. 2 will now be described in detail, reference being made to the diagrams in FIG. 3a-c. FIG. 3a shows the current through a column accordingto FIG. 2 when a constant current V0 is applied to the electrodes as a function of time, and furthermore, the position of the sample Sin the column 1 during the process is indicated. When 'the voltage is applied'the sample S is supposed to be located at the upper end of the column. The column is justments. Thereby the sample is transfered, without any counter flow applied, a suitable distance into the column whereafter counterflow and voltage are varied so asto obtain a constant current which could be detected from the current differential meter of the voltage supply 2. The position of the sample could-thereby either be determined ocularly or by means of a suitable detector, e.g. a thermodetector. a potential detector. or a conductive detector (Ref. 7 in FIG. 2).

The essential principle of the invention is thus that by applying a column constant counter flow and a constant current to the column it is possible to fix the sample at an equilibrium where the current through the column is constant. In order to choose the suitable values for counter flow and voltage one could thereby use a current differential detector or some other conventional detector located along the column. According to the invention one will thus obtain a process where it is very simple and unexpensive to fix the sample in a predetermined position during an arbitrary time.


1. Method in counter flow isotachophoresis of the type wherein a sample comprising ions of the same polarity to be separated is introduced into a column provided with first and second electrodes, with a first electrolyte between the sample and said first electrode and a second electrolyte between the sample ans said second electrode, the first and second electrolytes com-. prising ions of higher and lower mobilities respectively than the ions of the sample and an electrical potential is'applied between said first and second electrodes having a polarity such that the sample ions will tend to migrate towards said first electrode and a pressure differv ence is applied between said first and second electrolytes, the improvement which includes the steps of:

independently adjusting the value of said electricalcurrent differerential detector, the values being chosen so as to make the derivative of the electrical current zero.

3. Method according to claim 1, characterized in, that the values of the counter flow and the voltage are adjusted by means of an indication means located along the column. V g 1 v 4. Method according to claim 3, characterized in,

that the indication means consists of a thermodetector. 5. Method according to claim 3, characterized in, that the indication means consists of a UV-detector.

6. Method according to claim 3, characterized in, that the indication means consists of a conductivity detectori 7. Method according to claim 3, characterized in; that the indication means consists. of a potential detec-' tor. I v

- 8. The method according to claim 1, which includes the step of introducing the sample into the column in the absence of a counter flow of electrolyte.

A UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION PATENTNQ: 3,869,365 DATED March 4, 1975 INVENTOR(S) I Bengt Fritiof Sunden It is certified that error appears in the above-tdentified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

In the heading, where it reads "Assignee:

LKG-Produkter AB, Bromma, Sweden", correct it to read --Assignee: LKBProdukter AB, Bromma, Swedenand In the claims column 4, line 61, "ans" should read --and--.

Signed and sealed this 13th day of May 1975.

(SEAL) Attest:

o. MARSHALL DANN RUTH C. MASON Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer and Trademarks

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3453200 *May 25, 1966Jul 1, 1969Instrumentation Specialties CoApparatus for density gradient electrophoresis
US3649498 *Aug 2, 1967Mar 14, 1972Victor PretoriusDetection in chromatography
US3649499 *Mar 24, 1969Mar 14, 1972Kivalo PekkaMethod for establishing the zones occurring in electrophoresis and for their quantitative determination
US3705845 *Jun 1, 1971Dec 12, 1972Lkb Produkter AbMethod in counterflow isotachophoresis
US3712859 *Sep 27, 1971Jan 23, 1973Ortec IncProcess for particle separation
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3941678 *Feb 20, 1975Mar 2, 1976Shimadzu Seisakusho Ltd.Apparatus for electrophoretic analysis
US3948753 *Nov 13, 1974Apr 6, 1976Lkb-Produkter AbApparatus for isotachophoretical separation
US3998719 *Aug 21, 1975Dec 21, 1976Ceskoslovenska Akademie VedIsotachophoretic columns
US4459198 *Mar 23, 1982Jul 10, 1984Shimadzu CorporationElectrophoretic apparatus
US4617104 *Dec 19, 1983Oct 14, 1986Kureha Kagaku Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaMeasuring cell for liquid specimen
US4666577 *Feb 7, 1986May 19, 1987Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.Method of recording electrophoretic image pattern
US4666578 *Feb 24, 1986May 19, 1987Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.Method of measuring total protein of sample with the aid of electrophoretic image
US5275706 *Nov 25, 1992Jan 4, 1994Gerhard WeberDelivering additive medium to separation chamber contercurrent to separation and sample media to adjust outflow rate
US5429728 *Sep 23, 1993Jul 4, 1995Hewlett-Packard CompanyUsing back pressure to reduce electroosmotic flow thereby improving separation, rectangular column
US5482608 *Jan 19, 1993Jan 9, 1996Hewlett Packard CompanyCapillary electrophoresis flow control system
US5961800 *May 8, 1997Oct 5, 1999Sarnoff CorporationIndirect electrode-based pumps
US8080144Oct 3, 2007Dec 20, 2011The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of Commerce, the National Institute of Standards and TechnologyGradient elution electrophoresis
US8524061Nov 29, 2011Sep 3, 2013The Board Of Trustees Of The Leland Stanford Junior UniversityOn-chip hybridization coupled with ITP based purification for fast sequence specific identification
US8562804May 31, 2011Oct 22, 2013The Board Of Trustees Of The Leland Stanford Junior UniversityFluorescent finger prints for indirect detection in isotachophoresis
US8614059Jul 18, 2008Dec 24, 2013The Johns Hopkins UniversityPurification and concentration of proteins and DNA from a complex sample using isotachophoresis and a device to perform the purification
US8721858Mar 14, 2011May 13, 2014The Board Of Trustees Of The Leland Stanford Junior UniversityNon-focusing tracers for indirect detection in electrophoretic displacement techniques
US8795494Oct 25, 2010Aug 5, 2014Becton, Dickinson And CompanyMethods and apparatus for carrier-free deflection electrophoresis
EP0486559A1 *Aug 6, 1990May 27, 1992Applied BiosystemsNucleic acid fractionation by counter-migration capillary electrophoresis.
EP0608120A2 *Jan 19, 1994Jul 27, 1994Hewlett-Packard CompanyCapillary electrophoresis flow control system
WO1989004966A1 *Nov 21, 1988Jun 1, 1989Norberto GuzmanAutomated capillary electrophoresis apparatus
WO1998050787A1 *May 7, 1998Nov 12, 1998Sarnoff CorpIndirect electrode-based pumps
WO2014030997A1 *Aug 21, 2013Feb 27, 2014Universiteit LeidenApparatus and process for depletion zone isotachophoresis
U.S. Classification204/549
International ClassificationG01N27/447, G01N27/26
Cooperative ClassificationG01N27/44765
European ClassificationG01N27/447C2