Arne Tiselius

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Arne Tiselius
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Arne Wilhelm Kaurin Tiselius

(1902-08-10)10 August 1902
Died29 October 1971(1971-10-29) (aged 69)
Residence Sweden
Nationality Sweden
Alma mater University of Uppsala
Known for Electrophoresis
Scientific career
Fields Chemistry
Institutions University of Uppsala

Arne Wilhelm Kaurin Tiselius (10 August 1902 – 29 October 1971) was a Swedish biochemist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1948 "for his research on electrophoresis and adsorption analysis, especially for his discoveries concerning the complex nature of the serum proteins." [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, formal name: the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.5 million have a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.

Biochemist Scientist specialized in biochemistry

Biochemists are scientists that are trained in biochemistry.

Nobel Prize Set of annual international awards, primarily 5 established in 1895 by Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, or scientific advances.



Tiselius was born in Stockholm. Following the death of his father, the family moved to Gothenburg where he went to school, and after graduation at the local "Realgymnasium" in 1921, he studied at the Uppsala University, specializing in chemistry.

Stockholm Capital city in Södermanland and Uppland, Sweden

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous urban area in the Nordic countries; 965,232 people live in the municipality, approximately 1.6 million in the urban area, and 2.4 million in the metropolitan area. The city stretches across fourteen islands where Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea. Outside the city to the east, and along the coast, is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago. The area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, and was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is also the capital of Stockholm County.

Gothenburg City in Västergötland and Bohuslän, Sweden

Gothenburg is the second-largest city in Sweden, fifth-largest in the Nordic countries, and capital of the Västra Götaland County. It is situated by Kattegat, on the west coast of Sweden, and has a population of approximately 570,000 in the city center and about 1 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area.

Uppsala University research university in Uppsala, Sweden

Uppsala University is a research university in Uppsala, Sweden, and is the oldest university in Sweden and all of the Nordic countries still in operation, founded in 1477. It ranks among the world's 100 best universities in several high-profile international rankings. The university uses "Gratiae veritas naturae" as its motto and embraces natural sciences.

Career and research

Tiselius became a research assistant at Theodor Svedberg's laboratory in 1925 and obtained his doctoral degree in 1930 on the moving-boundary method of studying the electrophoresis of proteins. From then to 1935 he published a number of papers on diffusion and adsorption in naturally occurring base-exchanging zeolites, and these studies continued during a year's visit to Hugh Stott Taylor's laboratory in Princeton University with support of a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship. On his return to Uppsala he resumed his interest in proteins, and the application of physical methods to biochemical problems. This led to a much-improved method of electrophoretic analysis which he refined in subsequent years.

Theodor Svedberg Swedish chemist

Theodor ("The") Svedberg was a Swedish chemist and Nobel laureate for his research on colloids and proteins using the ultracentrifuge, active at Uppsala University.

Electrophoresis motion of charged particles in electric field

Electrophoresis is the motion of dispersed particles relative to a fluid under the influence of a spatially uniform electric field. Electrophoresis of positively charged particles (cations) is sometimes called cataphoresis, while electrophoresis of negatively charged particles (anions) is sometimes called anaphoresis.

Diffusion net movement of molecules or atoms from a region of high concentration (or high chemical potential) to a region of low concentration (or low chemical potential)

Diffusion is the net movement of molecules or atoms from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration. Diffusion is driven by a gradient in chemical potential of the diffusing species.

Tiselius took an active part in the reorganization of scientific research in Sweden in the years following World War II, and was President of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry 1951–1955. He was Chairman of the Board for the Nobel Foundation 1960–1964. [12]

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry international organization that represents chemists in individual countries

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry is an international federation of National Adhering Organizations that represents chemists in individual countries. It is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU). IUPAC is registered in Zürich, Switzerland, and the administrative office, known as the "IUPAC Secretariat", is in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, United States. This administrative office is headed by IUPAC's executive director, currently Lynn Soby.

Nobel Foundation private institution managing the finances and administration of the Nobel Prizes

The Nobel Foundation is a private institution founded on 29 June 1900 to manage the finances and administration of the Nobel Prizes. The Foundation is based on the last will of Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite.

Quotes from Arne Tiselius

We live in a world where unfortunately the distinction between true and false appears to become increasingly blurred by manipulation of facts, by exploitation of uncritical minds, and by the pollution of the language. Arne Tiselius [13]

Awards and honours

Paul Karrer Gold Medal

The Paul Karrer Gold Medal and Lecture is awarded annually or biennially by the University of Zurich to an outstanding researcher in the field of chemistry. It was established in 1959 by a group of leading companies, including CIBA AG, J.R. Geigy, F. Hoffmann-La Roche & Co. AG, Sandoz AG, Société des Produits Nestlé AG and Dr. A. Wander AG, to honour the Swiss organic chemist and Nobel laureate Paul Karrer on his 70th birthday.

The lunar crater Tiselius was named in his honour.

Personal life

Tiselius was married, with two children. He died of a heart attack 29 October 1971 in Uppsala. His wife died in 1986. [17]

Related Research Articles

Gel electrophoresis

Gel electrophoresis is a method for separation and analysis of macromolecules and their fragments, based on their size and charge. It is used in clinical chemistry to separate proteins by charge or size and in biochemistry and molecular biology to separate a mixed population of DNA and RNA fragments by length, to estimate the size of DNA and RNA fragments or to separate proteins by charge.

Frederick Sanger British biochemist

Frederick Sanger was a British biochemist who twice won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, one of only two people to have done so in the same category, the fourth person overall with two Nobel Prizes, and the third person overall with two Nobel Prizes in the sciences. In 1958, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his work on the structure of proteins, especially that of insulin". In 1980, Walter Gilbert and Sanger shared half of the chemistry prize "for their contributions concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids". The other half was awarded to Paul Berg "for his fundamental studies of the biochemistry of nucleic acids, with particular regard to recombinant DNA".

Artturi Ilmari Virtanen Finnish chemist and professor

Artturi Ilmari Virtanen was a Finnish chemist and recipient of the 1945 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his research and inventions in agricultural and nutrition chemistry, especially for his fodder preservation method".

George Emil Palade American cell biologist

George Emil Palade ForMemRS HonFRMS was a Romanian-American cell biologist. Described as "the most influential cell biologist ever", in 1974 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine along with Albert Claude and Christian de Duve. The prize was granted for his innovations in electron microscopy and cell fractionation which together laid the foundations of modern molecular cell biology, the most notable discovery being the ribosomes of the endoplasmic reticulum – which he first described in 1955.

Kai Siegbahn Swedish Physicist

Kai Manne Börje Siegbahn was a Swedish physicist.

Irwin Rose American biologist

Irwin Allan Rose was an American biologist. Along with Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko, he was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation.

Alan Fersht British chemist

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Archer Martin British chemist

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Cyril Norman Hinshelwood English physical chemist

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Robert W. Holley American biochemist

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Oliver Smithies Biochemistry, genetics, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2007

Oliver Smithies was a British-American geneticist and physical biochemist. He is known for introducing starch as a medium for gel electrophoresis in 1955, and for the discovery, simultaneously with Mario Capecchi and Martin Evans, of the technique of homologous recombination of transgenic DNA with genomic DNA, a much more reliable method of altering animal genomes than previously used, and the technique behind gene targeting and knockout mice. He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2007 for his genetics work.

Michael Levitt biophysicist and Professor of Structural biology

Michael Levitt, is an American-British-Israeli biophysicist and a professor of structural biology at Stanford University, a position he has held since 1987. Levitt received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, together with Martin Karplus and Arieh Warshel, for "the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems".

Arieh Warshel chemist, biochemist and biophysicist

Arieh Warshel is an Israeli-American biochemist and biophysicist. He is a pioneer in computational studies on functional properties of biological molecules. Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and holds the Dana and David Dornsife Chair in Chemistry at the University of Southern California. He received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, together with Michael Levitt and Martin Karplus for "the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems".

Moving-boundary electrophoresis is a technique for separation of chemical compounds by electrophoresis in a free solution.

Harvey Itano American biochemist

Harvey Akio Itano was an American biochemist best known for his work on the molecular basis of sickle cell anemia and other diseases. In collaboration with Linus Pauling, Itano used electrophoresis to demonstrate the difference between normal hemoglobin and sickle cell hemoglobin; their 1949 paper "Sickle Cell Anemia, a Molecular Disease" was a landmark in both molecular medicine and protein electrophoresis.

Affinity electrophoresis

Affinity electrophoresis is a general name for many analytical methods used in biochemistry and biotechnology. Both qualitative and quantitative information may be obtained through affinity electrophoresis. The methods include the so-called electrophoretic mobility shift assay, charge shift electrophoresis and affinity capillary electrophoresis. The methods are based on changes in the electrophoretic pattern of molecules through biospecific interaction or complex formation. The interaction or binding of a molecule, charged or uncharged, will normally change the electrophoretic properties of a molecule. Membrane proteins may be identified by a shift in mobility induced by a charged detergent. Nucleic acids or nucleic acid fragments may be characterized by their affinity to other molecules. The methods have been used for estimation of binding constants, as for instance in lectin affinity electrophoresis or characterization of molecules with specific features like glycan content or ligand binding. For enzymes and other ligand-binding proteins, one-dimensional electrophoresis similar to counter electrophoresis or to "rocket immunoelectrophoresis", affinity electrophoresis may be used as an alternative quantification of the protein. Some of the methods are similar to affinity chromatography by use of immobilized ligands.

Jerker Porath, was a Swedish biochemist who invented several separation methods for biomolecules. He was born in Sala.

The history of electrophoresis began with the work of Arne Tiselius in 1931, while new separation processes and chemical analysis techniques based on electrophoresis continue to be developed in the 21st century. Tiselius, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, developed the "Tiselius apparatus" for moving boundary electrophoresis, which was described in 1937 in the well-known paper "A New Apparatus for Electrophoretic Analysis of Colloidal Mixtures". The method spread slowly until the advent of effective zone electrophoresis methods in the 1940s and 1950s, which used filter paper or gels as supporting media. By the 1960s, increasingly sophisticated gel electrophoresis methods made it possible to separate biological molecules based on minute physical and chemical differences, helping to drive the rise of molecular biology. Gel electrophoresis and related techniques became the basis for a wide range of biochemical methods, such as protein fingerprinting, Southern blot, other blotting procedures, DNA sequencing, and many more.

SDS-PAGE formula

SDS-PAGE is a variant of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, an analytical method in biochemistry for the separation of charged molecules in mixtures by their molecular masses in an electric field. It uses sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) molecules to help identify and isolate protein molecules.


  1. 1 2 3 Kekwick, R. A.; Pedersen, K. O. (1974). "Arne Tiselius 1902-1971". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society . 20: 401–428. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1974.0018. PMID   11615762.
  2. Kyle, R. A.; Shampo, M. A. (2005). "Arne Tiselius—father of electrophoresis". Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 80 (3): 302. PMID   15757008.
  3. Tiselius, A. (1937). "A new apparatus for electrophoretic analysis of colloidal mixtures". Transactions of the Faraday Society. 33: 524–1933. doi:10.1039/tf9373300524.
  4. A Tiselius (1930). "The moving-boundary method of studying the electrophoresis of proteins". Nova Acta Regiae Societatis Scientiarum Upsaliensis. Ser. IV, Vol. 7 (4).
  5. Tiselius, A. (1968). "Reflections from Both Sides of the Counter". Annual Review of Biochemistry. 37: 1–24. doi:10.1146/ PMID   4875715.
  6. Putnam, F. W. (1993). "Alpha-, beta-, gamma-globulin—Arne Tiselius and the advent of electrophoresis". Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. 36 (3): 323–337. doi:10.1353/pbm.1993.0030. PMID   7685077.
  7. Kay, L. E. (1988). "Laboratory technology and biological knowledge: The Tiselius electrophoresis apparatus, 1930–1945". History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences. 10 (1): 51–72. PMID   3045854.
  8. Hjertén, S. (1973). "Dedication to Professor Arne Tiselius". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 209 (1): 5–7. Bibcode:1973NYASA.209....5H. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.1973.tb47513.x. PMID   4577171.
  9. Hertén, S. (1972). "Arne Tiselius. 1902-1971". Journal of Ultrastructure Research. 39 (5): 624–628. doi:10.1016/S0022-5320(72)90126-8. PMID   4556330.
  10. Hjertén, S. (1972). "Arne Tiselius 1902–1971". Journal of Chromatography. 65 (2): 345–348. PMID   4552643.
  11. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1948. Retrieved on 2017-10-02.
  12. The Nobel Foundation: A Century of Growth and Change. Retrieved on 2017-10-02.
  13. SGU, The Skeptics Guide to the Universe. "Podcast #709 - February 9th, 2019" . Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  14. "Arne Tiselius".
  15. Nobel Lecture Electrophoresis and Adsorption Analysis as Aids in Investigations of Large Molecular Weight Substances and Their Breakdown Products from website
  16. "List of Recipients". University of Zurich. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  17. Ingrid Margareta Tiselius (Dahlén) (1905 - 1986) - Genealogy
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Birger Ekeberg
Chairman of the Nobel Foundation
Succeeded by
Bertil Lindblad