Author(s): Rowlands S, Sewchand LS, Enns EG
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Abstract Theory predicts that the membrane potential will polarize membrane molecules and cause them to vibrate coherently at a frequency of approximately 10(11) HZ. If the supply of metabolic energy exceeds a minimum value, membrane phonons may condense their momentum into a single "giant" vibrational mode. At 10(11) HZ ionic screening is small up to distances of approximately a micrometre, so forces of a range several orders of magnitude longer than chemical forces can arise. These forces may be attractive or repulsive depending on frequency. They should occur in every metabolically active membrane and may control macromolecular transport and enzyme-substrate interactions. We find that normal human erythrocytes in plasma form rouleaux faster than Brownian motion predicts. When cells are fixed in glutaraldehyde or are metabolically depleted, or if the membrane potential is brought to zero, the rate of aggregation agrees with Brownian theory. When the metabolically depleted cells are revived or if the membrane potential is restored, then the interaction returns.
This article was published in Can J Physiol Pharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology