Dynamic Focusing
DFGF Introduction

DFGF Simulations

C.F. Ivory Papers


Welcome to MetapHoresis, LLC, a research partnership, located in Pullman, Washington near Washington State University.

MetapHoresis is a start-up, microchemistry company formed by Dr. Cornelius F. Ivory and Protasis Corporation to commercialize the latest advance in separations technology for use by the fast-growing life science, drug discovery and diagnostics markets.  A new technique, dynamic field gradient focusing (DFGF), invented by Dr. Ivory, promises to dramatically extend the capabilities of traditional chromatography and isoelectric focusing by combining them into a new, perfectly balanced ultra-high resolution technique.

 The Opportunity:

With the end of the historic Human Genome Project now in sight, the life science  community is turning its attention from DNA sequencing and profiling to proteomics, the emerging science of the cellular protein universe—a universe that dwarfs that of the genome.

Since the future of proteomics lies not in studying protein expression one by one, but rather looking at a multiplicity of expressed relationships, roles and interactions, the field demands new technologies and techniques that can accomplish this in an automated, large-scale manner.   The market potential for these needed new technologies is as large as the current life science instrument market at more than $6B [SDI, 1998].

 The Problem:

No one yet agrees on the best technology for proteomics.  For more than two decades, proteomics’ workhorse technology has been two-dimensional gel electrophoresis--the accepted technique for looking at cellular protein constituents.  In the late 80’s the introduction of mass spectroscopy made it possible to identify the protein’s exact molecular structure.

Even so, gels are notoriously difficult to analyze.  The technique is also slow, often requiring tens of hours to complete a single gel.  It is also difficult to automate.  And, obviously, a 2D gel can hardly be expected to discriminate the 100,000 some odd proteins which are thought to be expressed by the human genome.

Our Mission

MetapHoresis was created expressly to design and deliver revolutionary new technologies and techniques to the proteomics market.  Within the coming months, we will introduce our new, dynamic electrofocusing technology (DFGF), which is fast, scalable and has a peak capacity that can be adjusted in real-time.  Speed is gained by designing the device to operate at MEMS scale so fractionation is completed in a few seconds.  Widely adjustable peak capacity is attained by using patented DFGF focusing technology to dynamically monitor and control the fractionation of each protein.

 Unlike 2D gel, MEMS-DFGF is :

  • Fast
  • Inherently parallel
  • Innately automatable
  • Readily coupled to NMR, MS, etc.

Another important advantage:  DFGF can adjust and optimize peak mass and concentration to a given detection system, so that trace proteins can be detected and analyzed in the presence of bulk proteins.

Electrophoresis--an overlooked opportunity:  Electrophoresis is a separations technology whose time has finally come.  For more than 30 years, it has been passed over in favor of chromatography for processing organic molecules, pharmaceuticals and, more recently, biologics. 

Historically, free-flow electrophoresis lacked the resolving power, ease of use, and scope of application available with HPLC.  It was also widely believed that electrophoresis was not scalable in terrestrial gravity.  The only exceptions to the paradigm were at analytical scales where gel electrophoresis, CE, and, more recently, microfabricated chip-based electrophoresis routinely outperform HPLC.

Now, recent advances in electrokinetic processing are turning this model on its head as scientific and engineering developments show that electrophoresis offers significant advantages over chromatography at all scales.

Key Advantages:  

  • Extraordinary resolving power
  • Rapid process development
  • Ease of automation
  • A scalable model
  • Economy of scale

Secondary advantages:

  • True continuous operation at

    • Low pressure in

      • Free solution

Chromatography      going one way.


Electrophoresis       going  the other.


In perfect balance

=> Ultra-high resolution separation and accumulation.