The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 213–226 | Cite as

Hypotonic hemolysis of human red blood cells: a two-phase process

  • Jack T. Saari
  • James S. Beck


Previous use of hemolysis time measurement to determine permeability coefficients for the red blood cell membrane rested on the assumption that cells swelling in a hypotonic medium hemolyzed immediately on reaching critical volume. By preswelling red cells to various volumes prior to immersion in hemolytic solutions we extrapolate to the hemolysis time of red cells immersed at critical volume and thereby find a significant period of time during which the cells apparently remain in a spherical form prior to release of hemoglobin. Revised estimates of permeability coefficients follow from including this spherical (nonswelling) phase. In addition, the appreciation of a characteristic time period during which the membrane is under tension provides new opportunity to study physical and chemical properties of the membrane.


Cell Membrane Blood Cell Human Physiology Chemical Property Time Measurement 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack T. Saari
    • 1
    • 2
  • James S. Beck
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Medical Biophysics, Faculty of MedicineThe University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.The Bragg Creek Institute for Natural PhilosophyBragg CreekCanada

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