The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 255–264 | Cite as

Influence of membrane heterogeneity on kinetics of nonelectrolyte tracer flows

  • J. H. Li
  • A. Essig


In a composite membrane with heterogeneous channels, prevention of net volume flow with hydrostatic pressure differences and/or impermeant osmotic solutes may induce positive isotope interaction (coupling of isotope flows) consequent to circulation of volume flow. The permeability coefficient for net flow will then exceed the tracer permeability coefficient. A permeant osmotic solute will induce either positive or negative isotope interaction, according to whether membrane heterogeneity is more marked for the test solute or the osmotic solute, respectively. Thus membrane heterogeneity may account for phenomena commonly attributed to “single file diffusion” or “exchange diffusion”. For sufficiently small flows the general flux ratio relationship for homogeneous membranes will continue to apply.


Volume Flow Composite Membrane Permeability Coefficient Flux Ratio Exchange Diffusion 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. H. Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. Essig
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, School of MedicineUniversity of GenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Boston University School of MedicineBoston

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