SOLID STATE MECHANICS OF ION TRANSPORT IN BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS.
NAVAL AIR DEVELOPMENT CENTER JOHNSVILLE PA AEROSPACE MEDICAL RESEARCH DEPT
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Leakage of Na across the surface of muscle cells has been observed to obey the Elovich equation, which previously was found to describe various electron transport processes at surfaces of inorganic semiconductors. Analogies between solid state electron transport and liquid or gel state ion transport permit the derivation of the Elovich equation for Na transport across the surface of the muscle cell, but only if it is assumed that muscle Na exists mostly in a complexed form. Direct experimental verification of this theoretical prediction was obtained by NMR analysis of muscle Na. The similarities between the behavior of ions in cells and electrons in semiconductors suggest the presence of some degree of order or crystallinity in cells, which suggests the applicability to biology of concepts derived from the study of liquid crystals. Author