Facilitated Diffusion

This is a misnomer since no diffusive process is involved. Facilitated diffusion describes the transport of a substance from a high to low concentration via a carrier. No energy coupling is required for this process since movement occurs down the concentration gradient. However, diffusion is not involved, thus the transport kinetics are characteristic of carrier-mediated transport (Figure PG.17). An example of this process is the transport of glucose intracellularly, which occurs via a set of four different carriers.

Figure PG.17 Facilitated diffusion and carrier kinetics

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