The Physical State of Water in Living Cells

  • Gilbert N. Ling


The end of Chapter 2 documented the strong influence of A. V. Hill in the rejection of the earlier theories of “bound K+” and “bound water” in cells. Hill’s argument was essentially that the evidence supports the concept of free water in cells, and that if the water is free, K+ also must be free. In the first half of the preceding chapter, I documented the recent evidence that proves the localization of K+ in muscle and its adsorption on fixed carboxyl groups. I now reverse Hill’s argument: If all K+ is not free, water cannot be free either. That is to say, if K+ is not available to reduce the thermodynamic activity of cell water to equal that of the environment, then the cell volume can be maintained only if the water is associated with intracellular macromolecules.


Water Sorption Hydration Water Water Proton Antifreeze Protein Cell Water 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gilbert N. Ling
    • 1
  1. 1.Pennsylvania HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA

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