Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 214–222 | Cite as

Diffusivity and Solubility of Nitric Oxide in Water and Saline

  • Ian G. Zacharia
  • William M. Deen


Aqueous diffusivities and solubilities of NO were determined by using a chemiluminescence detector to measure time-dependent fluxes across stagnant liquid films confined between polydimethylsiloxane membranes. The NO diffusivities in pure water and PBS at 25C were found to be (2.21 ± 0.02) × 10−5 cm2 s−1 and (2.21 ± 0.04) × 10−5 cm2 s−1, respectively. Although lower than most previous values for NO at room temperature, these diffusivities are very similar to those for O2, as one would expect. Extrapolation to 37°C yielded a value of 3.0 × 10−5 cm2 s−1. The solubility of NO in water at 25°C was (1.94 ± 0.03) × 10−6 mol cm−3 atm−1, in agreement with the literature. This agreement, along with the excellent fits obtained to the transient flux data (<4% rms error in each experiment), supports the validity of the simultaneously measured diffusivity. The solubility of NO in PBS at 25°C was (1.75 ± 0.02) × 10−6 mol cm−3 atm−1. The modest (10%) reduction in solubility relative to that in pure water is consistent with the usual effects of salts on gas solubilities.


Diffusion of dissolved gases Silastic Chemiluminescence detection 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Armor, J. N. Influence of pH and ionic-strength upon solubility of NO in aqueous solution. J. Chem. Eng. Data. 19:82–84, 1974.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barrie, J. A., and D. Machin. The sorption and diffusion of water in silicone rubbers. Part II. Filled rubbers. J. Macromol. Sci. Phys. 4:673–692, 1969.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Butler, A. R., I. L. Megson, and P. G. Wright. Diffusion of nitric oxide and scavenging by blood in the vasculature. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1425:168–76, 1998.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chen, B., M. Keshive, and W. M. Deen. Diffusion and reaction of nitric oxide in suspension cell cultures. Biophys. J. 75:745–754, 1998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chen, B., and W. M. Deen. Analysis of the effects of cell spacing and liquid depth on nitric oxide and its oxidation products in cell cultures. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 14:135–147, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chen, B., and W. M. Deen. Effect of liquid depth on the synthesis and oxidation of nitric oxide in macrophage cultures. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 15:490–496, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dean, J. A. (ed.) Lange’s Handbook of Chemistry, 15th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1999, p. 5.7.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Denicola, A., J. M. Souza, R. Radi, and E. Lissi. Nitric oxide diffusion in membranes determined by fluorescence quenching. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 328:208–12, 1996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Goldstick, T. K., and I. Fatt. Diffusion of oxygen in solutions of blood proteins. Chem. Eng. Prog. Symp. Ser. 66:101–113, 1970.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gros, G., W. Moll, H. Hoppe, and H. Gros. Proton transport by phosphate diffusion—a mechanism of facilitated CO2 transfer. J. Gen. Physiol. 67:773–790, 1976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hermann, C., I. Dewes, and A. Schumpe. The estimation of gas solubilities in salt solutions. Chem. Eng. Sci. 50:1673–1675, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Himmelblau, D. M. Diffusion of dissolved gases in liquids. Chem. Rev. 64:527–550, 1964.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ho, C. S., L. K. Ju, R. F. Baddour, and D. I. C. Wang. Simultaneous measurement of oxygen diffusion coefficients and solubilities in electrolyte solutions with a polarographic oxygen electrode. Chem. Eng. Sci. 43:3093–3107, 1988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jordan, J., E. Ackerman, and R. L. Berger. Polarographic diffusion coefficients of oxygen defined by activity gradients in viscous media. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 78:2979–2983, 1956.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jordan, J., and W. E. Bauer. Correlations between solvent structure, viscosity and polarographic diffusion coefficients of oxygen. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 81:3915–3919, 1959.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lamers-Lemmers, J., L. J. C. Hoofd, and B. Oeseburg. Non-steady-state O2 diffusion in metmyoglobin solutions studied in a diffusion chamber. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 276:773–778, 2000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lancaster, J. R., Jr. Diffusion of free nitric oxide. Methods Enzymol. 268:31–50, 1996.CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lewis, R. S., W. M. Deen, S. R. Tannenbaum, and J. S. Wishnok. Membrane mass spectrometer inlet for quantitation of nitric oxide. Biol. Mass. Spectrom. 22:45–52, 1993.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Lewis, R. S., and W. M. Deen. Kinetics of the reaction of nitric oxide with oxygen in aqueous solutions. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 7:568–574, 1994.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lide, D. R. (ed.) Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 71st edn., Boca Raton: CRC Press, 1990–1991, p. 6–151.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Massey, L. K. Permeability Properties of Plastics and Elastomers—A Guide to Packaging and Barrier Materials, 2nd edn. Norwich: William Andrew Publishing/Plastics Design Library, 2003, Ch. 87.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Meldon, J. H. Reaction-Enhanced Mass Transfer in Thin Liquid Films, Sc. D. thesis, Mass. Inst. Of Tech., Cambridge, 1973.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Meldon, J. H., K. A. Smith, and C. K. Colton. Effect of weak acids upon transport of carbon dioxide in alkaline solutions. Chem. Eng. Sci. 32:939–950, 1977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Nalwaya, N., and W. M. Deen. Analysis of cellular exposure to peroxynitrite in suspension cultures. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 16:920–32, 2003.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Nguyen, Q. T., Z. Bendjama, R. Clement, and Z. H. Ping. Poly(dimethylsiloxane) crosslinked in different conditions—Part II. Pervaporation of water-ethyl acetate mixtures. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2:395–400, 2000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Reid, R. C., J. M. Prausnitz, and B. E. Poling. The Properties of Gases and Liquids, 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1987, pp. 598–604.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Robb, W. L. Thin silicone membranes–Their permeation properties and some applications. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 146:138–147, 1968.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Sendroy, J., R. T. Dillon, and D. D. Van Slyke. Studies of gas and electrolyte equilibria in blood. XIX. The solubility and physical state of uncombined oxygen in blood. J. Biol. Chem. 105:597–632, 1934.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Shaw, A. W., and A. J. Vosper. Solubility of nitric oxide in aqueous and non-aqueous solvents. J. Chem. Soc. Faraday Trans. I. 73:1239–1244, 1977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Stamler, J. S., D. I. Simon, J. A. Osborne, M. E. Mullins, O. Jaraki, T. Michel, D. J. Singel, and J. Loscalzo. S-Nitrosylation of proteins with nitric oxide—synthesis and characterization of biologically-active compounds. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 89:444–448, 1992.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Stroeve, P. Diffusion with Reversible Chemical Reaction in Heterogeneous Media, Sc.D. thesis, Mass. Inst. of Tech., Cambridge, 1973.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Stroeve, P., C. K. Colton, and K. A. Smith. Steady-state diffusion of oxygen in red blood cell and model suspensions. AIChE J. 22:1133–1142, 1976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Stroeve, P., and E. Ziegler. The transport of carbon dioxide in high molecular-weight buffer solutions. Chem. Eng. Commun. 6:81–103, 1980.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Vanderkooi, J. M., W. W. Wright, and M. Erecinska. Nitric oxide diffusion coefficients in solutions, proteins and membranes determined by phosphorescence. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1207:249–54, 1994.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Vaughn, M. W., L. Kuo, and J. C. Liao. Estimation of nitric oxide production and reaction rates in tissue by use of a mathematical model. Am. J. Physiol. 274:H2163–76, 1998.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Wang, C., and W. M. Deen. Nitric oxide delivery system for cell culture studies. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 31:65–79, 2003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Ward, W. J. Analytical and experimental studies of facilitated transport. AIChE J. 16:405–410, 1970.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Wise, D. L., and G. Houghton. Diffusion coefficients of neon, krypton, xenon, carbon monoxide and nitric oxide in water at 10–60C. Chem. Eng. Sci. 23:1211–1216, 1968.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Wood, J., and J. Garthwaite. Models of the diffusional spread of nitric oxide: Implications for neural nitric oxide signaling and its pharmacological properties. Neuropharmacology. 33:1235–1244, 1994.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge
  2. 2.Biological Engineering DivisionMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge

Personalised recommendations