facilitated diffusion


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fa·cil·i·tat·ed trans·port

the protein-mediated transport of a compound across a biomembrane that is not ion-driven; a saturable transport system.
Synonym(s): passive transport

facilitated diffusion

Carrier-mediated transport of a non-charged molecule down its chemical gradient via a specific membrane-integrated protein.

facilitated diffusion

The movement of a substance (such as glucose) through a cell membrane along a concentration gradient with the help of membrane proteins acting as carrier molecules.
See also: diffusion

diffusion

1. the state or process of being widely spread.
2. the spontaneous mixing of the molecules or ions of two or more substances resulting from random thermal motion; its rate is proportional to the concentrations of the substances and it increases with the temperature.
In the body fluids the molecules of water, gases, and the ions of substances in solution are in constant motion. As each molecule moves about, it bounces off other molecules and loses some of its energy to each molecule it hits, but at the same time it gains energy from the molecules that collide with it.
The rate of diffusion is influenced by the size of the molecules; larger molecules move less rapidly, because they require more energy to move about. Molecules of a solution of higher concentration move more rapidly toward those of a solution of lesser concentration; in other words, the rate of movement from higher to lower concentration is greater than the movement in the opposite direction.

diffusion coefficient
the number of milliliters of a gas that will diffuse at a distance of 0.001 mm over a square centimeter surface per minute, at 1 atmosphere of pressure. The diffusion coefficient for any given gas is proportional to the solubility and molecular weight of the gas. The diffusion coefficient for oxygen is 1.0, for carbon dioxide it is 20.3, and for nitrogen it is 0.53. The diffusion capacity of a gas varies directly with the diffusion coefficient.
facilitated diffusion
mechanisms in intestinal absorption which assist the passage of those products of digestion, which cannot occur by simple diffusion, across the intestinal cell membranes. They include a carrier mechanism involving proteins, and active transport which provides energy from the breakdown of high-energy phosphate bonds.
Fick's first law of diffusion
diffusion hypoxia
a transient hypoxic episode after the cessation of nitrous oxide anesthesia if air is inhaled instead of pure oxygen; caused by the rapid diffusion of nitrous oxide out into the alveoli diluting the oxygen that is there.
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