Salt Removal During Off-GelTM Electrophoresis of Protein Samples
The Off-Gel™ technology was recently described for protein fractionation in a solution placed on top of an immobilized pH gradient gel. In addition, this process was found to remove salts from the biological samples to analyze. This desalting effect is studied experimentally in a conductometric prototype cell. A simplified analytical model is developed to understand this process and a good agreement is found with the conductivity measurements. To illustrate the desalting of a biological sample, a 1 mg·mL−1 solution of β-lactoglobulin A in 0.1 M NaCl is subjected to electrophoresis in a single compartment Off-Gel™ cell. The analysis of the resulting sample by ESI-MS demonstrates the effective removal of salt. A finite element diffusion-migration model is also used to illustrate how the nonuniformity of the electric field in the cell, associated with the salt migration, can slow down the desalting process.