, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 292–304 | Cite as

Determination of transference numbers from membrane potential data

  • S. Ciani
  • F. Conti


A system composed of two ionic solutions, solution (′) and solution (″), which are isotonic and separated by a membrane permeable to the solvent and to at most two of the ionic components present in the solutions, is considered. The variations of the difference of electric potential between solution (″) and solution (′), in the steady state and for zero electric current, corresponding to variations in the composition of e.g. solution (′), are found to depend only on the properties of the membrane phase at the boundary with solution (′). This result is deducible under loose assumptions as to the dependence of the properties of transport and absorption of the permeant components in the membrane on their activities in solution. It can therefore be particularly useful for the study of systems, like biological membranes, whose structural and chemical composition is so poorly known that any assumption about that dependence is hardly justifiable.


Steady State Electric Current Electric Potential Biological Membrane Ionic Solution 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Ciani
    • 1
    • 2
  • F. Conti
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Gruppo Nazionale di Cibernetica del C.N.R.-Sezione di GenovaItalia
  2. 2.Istituto di Fisica dell'UniversitáGenovaItalia

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