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2005 | 3 | 1 | 15-24

Article title

Characterization of electrical charge separation at the interface of two aqueous solutions in the presence of concentration gradients and cation/anion mobility ratio asymmetry


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Physical consequences of ionic diffusion processes play a major role on the outcome of electrophysiology experiments due to both their contribution to the ionic transmembrane transport and phenomena taking place at the measuring instruments interface. As most of the time heterogenities in biological media with respect to ionic diffusion constants are disregarded, we intended to look upon the general case of ionic diffusion at the interface of two liquids on which gradients of these diffusion constants no longer can be neglected. We developed a theoretical model for the diffusion potential which emerges at an aqueous interface under gradients of concentration and diffusion constants. The experimental validation of our model was achieved through potential difference measurements of the diffusion potential between two solutions containing sodium chloride (NaCl) and glycerine solutions of various concentrations. Within the studied domain of the electrical charge mobility ratio, we noticed that experimental results are in agreement with the theoretically inferred diffusion potential values. This demonstrates that the resulting relationship for the diffusion potential inferred from our model could be applied for other cases, as well. When the ionic solutions contains an indefinite quantity of glycerine or an unknown substance able to modify diffusion constants of sodium and chloride, it was shown that through measurements of the diffusion potential one can infer the unknown concentration of glycerine and the modified ionic mobility ratio. This, in turn, builds up the foundation for a novel yet simple and efficient analitycal sensing device for quantitative determination in the field.










Physical description


1 - 3 - 2005
1 - 3 - 2005


  • Faculty of Physics of Department of Medical Physics & Biophysics, Alexandru I. Cuza University, Blvd, Carol I no. 11, Iasi, Romania
  • Faculty of Physics of Department of Medical Physics & Biophysics, Alexandru I. Cuza University, Blvd, Carol I no. 11, Iasi, Romania


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