1. It is shown by volumetric analysis that on the alkaline side from its isoelectric point gelatin combines with cations only, but not with anions; that on the more acid side from its isoelectric point it combines only with anions but not with cations; and that at the isoelectric point, pH = 4.7, it combines with neither anion nor cation. This confirms our statement made in a previous paper that gelatin can exist only as an anion on the alkaline side from its isoelectric point and only as a cation on the more acid side of its isoelectric point, and practically as neither anion nor cation at the isoelectric point.
2. Since at the isoelectric point gelatin (and probably amphoteric colloids generally) must give off any ion with which it was combined, the simplest method of obtaining amphoteric colloids approximately free from ionogenic impurities would seem to consist in bringing them to the hydrogen ion concentration characteristic of their isoelectric point (i.e., at which they migrate neither to the cathode nor anode of an electric field).
3. It is shown by volumetric analysis that when gelatin is in combination with a monovalent ion (Ag, Br, CNS), the curve representing the amount of ion-gelatin formed is approximately parallel to the curve for swelling, osmotic pressure, and viscosity. This fact proves that the influence of ions upon these properties is determined by the chemical or stoichiometrical and not by the "colloidal" condition of gelatin.
4. The sharp drop of these curves at the isoelectric point finds its explanation in an equal drop of the water solubility of pure gelatin, which is proved by the formation of a precipitate. It is not yet possible to state whether this drop of the solubility is merely due to lack of ionization of the gelatin or also to the formation of an insoluble tautomeric or polymeric compound of gelatin at the isoelectric point.
5. On account of this sudden drop slight changes in the hydrogen ion concentration have a considerably greater chemical and physical effect in the region of the isoelectric point than at some distance from this point. This fact may be of biological significance since a number of amphoteric colloids in the body seem to have their isoelectric point inside the range of the normal variation of the hydrogen ion concentration of blood, lymph, or cell sap.
6. Our experiments show that while a slight change in the hydrogen ion concentration increases the water solubility of gelatin near the isoelectric point, no increase in the solubility can be produced by treating gelatin at the isoelectric point with any other kind of monovalent or polyvalent ion; a fact apparently not in harmony with the adsorption theory of colloids, but in harmony with a chemical conception of proteins.