2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2007 - 10th Annual

Transport of Ionic Electrolytes and Proteins through Semipermeable Membrane

S.W. Leung, C. Trigo, C.K. Daniels, A. Bhushan and J.C.K. Lai
Idaho State University, US

electrolytes, proteins, semipermeable membrane, surfactants

Surfactants are known to influence functions of many proteins in membranes, cells and tissues. Because most studies to elucidate the effects of surfactants on membrane-bound proteins and cells employed heterogeneous or complex systems, it is difficult to extrapolate the results of such studies to delineate the effects of surfactants on a single protein. Likewise, reports of how physiological relevant electrolytes that are important to human body functions, such as Cl-, K+, Ca++, and Na+ are transported through cellular membrane in a homogeneous setting are not readily available. In this study, we systematically investigated how the surfactants of various hydrophilicities affect the interfacial transport of Cl-, K+, Ca++, and Na+ through a semipermeable membrane in the presence of enzymes at pH 6.5 to 7.4. Surfactants of various hydrophilicities have definite effects on activities of enzymes and the effects are also pH dependent, but surfactants with concentrations at ppm level are not known to have much effect on the activities of ionic electrolytes. However, the combined effect of enzymes and surfactants on transport of the electrolytes across the semipermeable membrane is not known. Understanding of such transport phenomena will help elucidate the mechanism of how ions are transported through membrane channels.

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