Membrane Pores And Restricted Diffusion

By the early 1930s, the ability of Eq. 4 to describe diffusion across biologic membranes was experimentally well established, and the prevalent view was that cells are surrounded by an intact or continuous lipid envelope. This view was soon challenged by the exhaustive studies of Collander and his associates on the permeability of the plant cell Chara to a large number of solutes. The results of these studies are summarized in Fig. 5, where the permeability coefficients of a number of solutes (ordinate) are plotted against their oil-water partition coefficients (abscissa).

Clearly, there is, in general, a direct linear relationship between these parameters, as previously demonstrated by Overton, but Collander also noted that small water-soluble molecules tend to lie above the line describing the best fit of the data. In other words, small water-soluble molecules appear to permeate the membrane more rapidly than could be accounted for on

Diffusion of Electrolytes

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