Water: A Unique Structure, a Unique Solvent

  • Peter R. Bergethon


Water is a unique solvent by virtue of its extensive hydrogen-bonded character in bulk phase. Biological water has properties contributed by the individual H2O molecules and by the collection of H2O molecules into a bulk phase with extensive intramolecular interactions. Therefore, on the basis of just our knowledge of statistical thermodynamics, we would expect that the important properties of biological water will depend on the behavior of the collection of molecules or the entropic nature of water. However, biological systems are nonhomogeneous, and nonbulk water plays a wide variety of physiological roles as well.


Water Molecule Liquid Water Hydrophobic Force Partial Positive Charge Partial Negative Charge 
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Further Reading


  1. Braum C. L., and Smirnov S. N. (1993) Why is water blue? J. Chem. Ed., 70: 612–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter R. Bergethon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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