Edexcel A (SNAB) A Level Biology:复习笔记2.1.2 Fick's Law of Diffusion

Fick's Law of Diffusion

  • Fick's Law relates the rate of diffusion to the concentration gradient, the diffusion distance and the surface area
  • This relationship can be represented by the following equation, where ∝ means "proportional to"

  • Proportionality means the rate of diffusion will double if:
    • The surface area or concentration difference doubles
    • The diffusion pathway halves
  • Fick's Law can be written as an equation which can be used to calculate the rate of diffusion

  •  Where
    • P = A permeability constant that is a quantitative measure of the rate at which a particular molecule can cross a particular membrane
    • A = surface area
    • C1 - C2 = the difference in concentration between two areas
    • T = thickness of the exchange surface

Worked Example

A sample of alveolar epithelium tissue from a mammal is 1.5 μm thick and has a surface area of 3 μm2. The concentration of oxygen in the alveolus is 1.8 x 10-16 mol μm-3 and the concentration of oxygen in the blood is 7.5 x 10-17 mol μm-3. The permeability constant for oxygen across alveolar epithelium is 0.012 molecule s-1.

Calculate the rate of diffusion across the section of alveolar epithelium.

Step 1: Substitute numbers into the equation

Rate = P x A x ((C1 - C2)÷ T)

Rate = 0.012 x 3 x ((1.8 x 10-16 - 7.5 x 10-17)÷1.5)

Step 2: Complete the calculation

Rate = 0.012 x 3 x (1.05 x 10-16 ÷1.5)

Rate = 0.012 x 3 x 7 x 10-17

Rate = 2.52 x 10-18 molecules ÷m-2 s-1

Exam Tip

You will be given the equation for Fick's Law in your exam, but it is important you understand what it means and how to interpret it.