The method described above, based on the electrophoretic migration of bacteriophage particles into an agar gel and their subsequent re-suspension in a suitable medium, has the following advantages:
It is simple and can be readily carried out on a comparatively large scale by merely inserting additional units between the same electrode cups. It requires but one extraction and the resulting phage suspension is strongly lytic, an average sample being capable of completely lysing susceptible bacteria at a dilution of 10–16. The suspension contains no proteins demonstrable by the biuret, alcohol, xanthoproteic, Millon or Hopkins-Cole reactions and yields but 0.044 mg. N/cc. directly attributable to the phage. Each corpuscle contains no more nitrogen than a single molecule of protein.
In addition the method is applicable to determinations of the electric charge carried by biologically active substances of small dimensions, e.g., phage, toxins, and perhaps some viruses. It offers as well a possible means of purification of these substances.
The purified bacteriophage obtained by such a procedure or similar ones is relatively unstable. Work now in progress indicates that it does not possess nearly the resistance to chemical agents, drying, etc., that non-purified phage displays.
It is suggested that experiments designed to test the therapeutic value of bacteriophage be conducted, when possible, with purified suspensions thereby avoiding any possibility of obscure non-specific reactions due to other constituents of the lysates.