What is electrophoresis

Protein electrophoresis (electrophoresis)

The blood proteins are a complex mixture of proteins that perform a wide variety of functions in the metabolism. In addition to albumin, the Globulins to the blood proteins; in the blood they are responsible for the transport of substances, regulation of the pH value and the immune system.

The Protein electrophoresis allows precise conclusions to be drawn about the Composition of the proteins circulating in the blood. The investigation is based on the fact that the various blood proteins migrate at different speeds on a special film when an electrical voltage is applied. The protein bands created in this way can be colored, and subsequent screening with light enables a clear representation of the protein quantities as a wave curve. If this is noticeable, the changed blood proteins are determined directly.
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In protein electrophoresis, the blood proteins are separated according to their size and their electrical charge in an electrical field (see figure). Normally, five groups of blood proteins can be represented as "bands", namely:

  • albumin
  • Alpha-1 globulin(a-1 globulin)
  • Alpha-2 globulin(a-2 globulin)
  • Beta globulins(beta globulins, ß globulins)
  • Gamma globulins(gamma globulins, ß-globulins), also called immunoglobulins.

Not all blood proteins, however, are part of a healthy metabolism; sometimes one lies monoclonal gammopathy in front. The offspring of a single B lymphocyte produce large amounts of a uniform immunoglobulin, e.g. B. in plasmacytoma. A monoclonal gammopathy can be recognized by an additional pointed "spike" in the electrophoresis.

Normal range (blood)

  • Albumin: 56.0–68% of total blood proteins (in absolute values: 35–55 g / l)
  • Alpha-1 globulin: 2–5% (1–3.5 g / l)
  • Alpha-2 globulin: 6–10% (3–8.5 g / l)
  • Beta globulins: 8–14% (5–11 g / l)
  • Gamma globulins: 10-20% (6.5-16 g / l).



  • Increased or decreased total protein in the blood
  • Elevated ESR
  • Diagnosis and assessment of the course of acute and chronic inflammation
  • Assessment of the course of protein losses in the kidneys (e.g. nephrotic syndrome) or the gastrointestinal tract
  • Assessment of the course of a plasmacytoma or other monoclonal gammopathy.


  • Clarification of monoclonal gammopathy in blood serum
  • suspicion of Bence Jones Myeloma: Degenerate blood plasma cells of a plasmacytoma produce fragments of immunoglobulins here.
  • Amyloidosis.


Dr. med. Arne Schäffler, Dr. med. Ingrid Wess in: Gesundheit heute, edited by Dr. med. Arne Schäffler. Trias, Stuttgart, 3rd edition (2014). | last changed on at 11:15 am