Abstract A method of ultrathin-layer isoelectric focusing in 0.12-, 0.24-, or 0.36-mm polyacrylamide gel layers polymerized on a sheet of cellophane as support is deseribed. The gel adheres firmly to the cellophane during all operation steps, is protected from fracture, and can be handied very conveniently. Resolution is markedly improved in ultrathin gels in comparison with the conventional 1- to 2-mm-thick gels. Staining and destaining are completed in a substantially shorter time than so far achieved. The ultrathin gels can be easily dried on the cellophane, a perfectly transparent record being obtained for future reference and for densitometric evaluation. Results are presented for a number of commercial proteins and legume seed proteins. The advantages of ultrathin-layer isoelectric focusing are discussed.