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THE SHAPE OF THE MAMMALIAN ERYTHROCYTE AND ITS RESPIRATORY FUNCTION. II

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Journal
The Journal of General Physiology
0022-1295
Publisher
The Rockefeller University Press
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Abstract

625.tif THE SHAPE OF THE MAMMALIAN ERYTHROCYTE AND ITS RESPIRATORY FUNCTION. II.* BY ERIC PONDER. (From the Department of Physiology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland.) (Accepted for publication, February 1, 1926.) In a previous paper (1) it has been pointed out that a section through the poles of a mammalian red cell of typical biconcave form approxi- mates to one of the equipotential curves of Cayley, and that, although such a curve does not fit the shape of the cell with any exactness, the approach of the cell surface to an equipotentia] surface is interesting in view of the respiratory function of the erythrocyte. The equipotenfial surfaces considered were obtained by revolving equipotential curves about their minor axis, a process which causes the two sinks associated with the curves to form a ring; this ring was then regarded as a cir- cular sink to which the rotated curves were equipotential surfaces. Now this procedure is not quite accurate, and gives only an ap- proximation to the true iesult. The rotated curve, strictly speaking, does not form an equipotenfial surface to a ring, but a section through the poles of that surface gives a curve equipotential to the two points in which the ring is cut by the plane of secfion--a different thing, although the difference may not be an obvious one. The difference is not a great one, and in the paper referred to it was ignored, partly to avoid such complexity as would have obscured the general principles which were dealt with, and partly because the treatment was admit- tedly more suggestive than complete. However, it has been since suggested to us that, in view of the interest now attached to the ques- tion of diffusion gradients in the erythrocyte, a more complete study of these equipotenfial surfaces would be desirable; in this paper, therefore, we shall treat the matter in a more rigid manner. Suppose that we wish to find the equipotential surfaces to a circular * This research was

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