Experiment, Hypothesis, and Theory in the Development of Concepts of Cell Membrane Structure 1930–1970

  • J. F. Danielli


Many of the basic hypotheses concerning membrane structure were developed in the period 1900–1945. From 1945 to the present, intensive experimental study of these hypotheses has left our concepts of the role of lipids in the membrane largely unchanged. It has also greatly extended the evidence for a variety of roles for proteins in the membrane. Information about the way in which proteins enter into membrane structure, and how they carry out their roles, has been remarkably extended since 1960. In this review, I shall analyze the development of the basic hypotheses in terms of the interplay between hypothesis, experiment, and theory, as it occurred during the period 1930–1970.


Free Energy Lipid Bilayer Surface Free Energy Prime Mover Bilayer Structure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Danielli, J. F. (1936). J. Cell. Comp. Physiol. 7, 393–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Danielli, J. F. (1938). Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 6, 190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Danielli, J. F. (1939a). Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 127, 34–35.Google Scholar
  4. Danielli, J. F. (1939b). Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 127, 73.Google Scholar
  5. Danielli, J. F. (1941). Trans. Faraday Soc. 37, 121–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Danielli, J. F., and Dayson, H. (1935). J. Cell. Comp. Physiol. 5, 495–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Danielli, J. F., and Harvey, E. N. (1935). J. Cell. Comp. Physiol. 5, 483–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dayson, H., and Danielli, J. F. (eds.) (1943). In The Permeability of Natural Membranes, Cambridge University Press, London.Google Scholar
  9. Goel, N., and Ycas, M. (1979). J. Theor. Biol. 77, 253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gorter, E., and Grendal, F. (1926). Proc. K. Acad. Wetensoh. Amsterdam 29, 314.Google Scholar
  11. Harvey, E. N., and Danielli, J. F. (1938). Biol. Rev. Cambridge Philos. Soc. 13, 319–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hober, R. (1945). Physical Chemistry of Cells and Tissues, Churchill, London.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. F. Danielli
    • 1
  1. 1.Danielli Associates and Life Sciences DepartmentWorcester Polytechnic InstituteWorcesterUSA

Personalised recommendations