A Convergence of Experimental and Theoretical Breakthroughs Affirms the PM theory of Dynamically Structured Cell Water on the Theory’s 40th Birthday

  • Gilbert N. Ling


This review begins with a summary of the critical evidence disproving the traditional membrane theory and its modification, the membrane-pump theory – as well as their underlying postulations of (1) free cell water, (2) free cell K+, and (3) ‘native’-proteins being truly native.

Next, the essence of the unifying association-induction hypothesis is described, starting with the re-introduction of the concept of protoplasm (and of colloid) under a new definition. Protoplasms represent diverse cooperative assemblies of protein-water-ion – maintained with ATP and helpers – at a high-(negative)-energy-low-entropy state called the resting living state. Removal of ATP could trigger its auto-cooperative transition into the low-(negative)-energy-high-entropy active living state or death state.

As the largest component of protoplasm, cell water in the resting living state exists as polarized-oriented multilayers on arrays of some fully extended protein chains. Each of these fully extended protein chains carries at proper distance apart alternatingly negatively charged backbone carbonyl groups (as N sites) and positively charged backbone imino group (as P sites) in what is called a NP-NP-NP system of living protoplasm. In contrast, a checkerboard of alternating N and P sites on the surface of salt crystals is called a NP surface.

The review describes how eight physiological attributes of living protoplasm were duplicated by positive model (extroverts) systems but not duplicated or weakly duplicated by negative model (introverts) systems. The review then goes into more focused discussion on (1) water vapor sorption at near saturation vapor pressure and on (2) solute exclusion. Both offer model-independent quantitative data on polarized-oriented water.

Water-vapor sorption at physiological vapor pressure (p/p_o = 0.996) of living frog muscle cells was shown to match quantitatively vapor sorption of model systems containing exclusively or nearly exclusively fully extended polypeptide (e.g., polyglycine, polyglycine-D,L-alanine) or equivalent (e.g., PEO, PEG, PVP). The new Null-Point Method of Ling and Hu made studies at this extremely high vapor pressure easily feasible.

Solute exclusion in living cells and model systems is the next subject reviewed in some detail, centering around Ling’s 1993 quantitative theory of solute distribution in polarized-oriented water. It is shown that the theory correctly predicts size dependency of the q-values of molecules as small as water to molecules as large as raffinose. But this is true only in cases where the excess water-to-water interaction energy is high enough as in living frog muscle (e.g., 126 cal/mole) and in water dominated by the more powerful extrovert models (e.g., gelatin, NaOH-denatured hemoglobin, PEO.) However, when the probe solute molecule is very large in size (e.g., PEG 4000), even water ‘dominated’ by the weaker introvert model (e.g., native hemoglobin) shows exclusion.

Zheng and Pollack recently demonstrated the exclusion of coated latex microspheres 0.1 μ m in diameter from water 100 μ m (and thus some 300,000 water molcules) away from the polarizing surface of a poly(vinylalcohol) (PVA) gel. This finding again affirms the PM theory in a spectacular fashion. Yet at the time of its publication, it had no clear-cut theoretical foundation based on known laws of physics that could explain such a remote action.

It was therefore with great joy to announce at the June 2004 Gordon Conference on Interfacial Water, the most recent introduction of a new theoretical foundation for the long range water polarization-orientation. To wit, under ideal conditions an ‘idealized NP surface’ can polarize and orient water ad infinitum. Thus, a theory based on laws of physics can indeed explain long range water polarization and orientation like those shown by Zheng and Pollack.

Under near-ideal conditions, the new theory also predicts that water film between polished surfaces carrying a checkerboard of N and P sites at the correct distance apart would not freeze at any attainable temperature. In fact, Giguère and Harvey confirmed this too retroactively half a century ago


water cellwater polarized multilayers association-induction hypothesis AIHypothesis polarized multilayer theory polarized orientedmultilayer theory PM theory long-range water structure water vapor pressure super-cooling non-freezing water silver chloridecrystals glass surface BET theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gilbert N. Ling
    • 1
  1. 1.Damadian Foundation for Basic and Cancer Research, Tim and Kim Ling Foundation for Basic and Cancer Researchc/o Fonar Corporation110 Marcus DriveNY 11747

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