Microelectrode Studies of Facilitated O2 Transport Across Hemoglobin and Myoglobin Layers

  • D. G. Buerk
  • L. Hoofd
  • Z. Turek
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 248)


Kreuzer and Hoofd (1987) recently reviewed the experimental evidence, theoretical framework and physiological significance for facilitated O2 transport by hemoglobin in the red blood cell and by myoglobin in heart and red skeletal muscle. It is now well accepted that these vital biological proteins enhance tissue O2 delivery by carrier-mediated transport. However, many mechanistic details are not fully understood or their importance in vivo have not been completely evaluated. Much of the previous research during the past 30 years has been conducted with flat layers of carrier protein solutions subjected to known O2 concentration gradients in diffusion chambers. Facilitated O2 transport theory predicts how PO2 will vary with distance across the layer. In the present study, we measured PO2 profiles with recessed cathode microelectrodes (Whalen et al, 1967) across ca. 500 μm layers of aqueous solutions containing either hemoglobin or myoglobin. To our knowledge, there have been no previous attempts to evaluate facilitated O2 transport theory by actually measuring PO2 profiles in carrier protein solutions.


Transport Theory Equilibrium Curve Gracilis Muscle Diffusion Chamber Damkohler Number 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Breepoel, P.M., de Koning, J., Hoofd, L., 1982; Diffusion of oxygen in methemoglobin solutions: dependence on salt concentrations, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 109:848–850.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bouwer, S., 1987; Facilitated oxygen diffusion through hemoglobin solutions. Measurement of diffusion and reaction parameters, Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Physiology, Catholic University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  3. Buerk, D.G., Goldstick, T.K., 1982; Arterial wall oxygen consumption rate varies spatially, Am. J. Physiol., 243:H948–H958.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Buerk, D.G., 1985; An evaluation of Easton’s paradigm for the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve, in: “Oxygen Transport to Tissue — VI,” Plenum Press, N.Y., Adv. Exp. Med. Biol., 180:333–344.Google Scholar
  5. Buerk, D.G., Bridges, E.W., 1986; A simplified algorithm for computing the variation in oxyhemoglobin saturation with pH, PCO2, T and DPG, Chem. Eng. Commun., 47:113–124.Google Scholar
  6. de Koning, J., Hoofd, LJ.C, Kreuzer, F., 1981; Oxygen transport and the function of myoglobin. Theoretical model and experiments in chicken gizzard smooth muscle, Pflügers Arch, 389:211–217.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Easton, D.M., 1979; Oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve as expo-exponential paradigm of asymmetric sigmoid function, J. Theor. Biol. 76:335–349.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fletcher, J.E., 1980; On facilitated oxygen diffusion in muscle tissues, Biophys. J., 29:437–458.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gayeski, T.E., Connett, R.J., Honig, C.R., 1987; Minimum intracellular PO2 for maximum cytochrome turnover in red muscle in situ, Am. J. Physiol., 252:H906–915.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Goldstick, T.K., Fatt, I., 1970; Diffusion of oxygen in solutions of blood proteins, Chem. Eng. Progr. Symp. Ser., 66:101–113.Google Scholar
  11. Gonzalez-Fernandez, J.M., Atta, S.E., 1982; Facilitated transport of oxygen in the presence of membranes in the diffusion path, Biophys. J., 38:133–141.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gutierrez, G., 1986; The rate of oxygen release and its effect on capillary O2 tension: a mathematical analysis, Resp. Physiol., 63:79–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Heliums, J.D., 1977; The resistance to oxygen transport in the capillaries relative to that in the surrounding tissue, Microvas. Res., 13:131–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hoofd, L., Kreuzer, F., 1979; A new mathematical approach for solving carrier-facilitated diffusion problems, J. Math. Biol., 8:1–13.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hoofd, L., Breepoel, P., Kreuzer, F., 1984; Facilitated diffusion and electrical potentials in protein solutions with ionic species, in: “Oxygen Transport to Tissue — V,” Plenum Press, N.Y., Adv. Exp. Med. Biol., 169:133–143.Google Scholar
  16. Jacquez, J.A., 1984; The physiological role of myoglobin: More than a problem in reaction-diffusion kinetics, Math. Biosci., 68:57–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kreuzer, F., Hoofd, L., 1987; Chapter 6, Facilitated diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide, in: “Handbook of Physiology, The Respiratory System, Vol. IV,” American Physiological Society, Bethesda, MD., pp. 89–111.Google Scholar
  18. Kutchai, H., Jacquez, J.A., Mather, F.J., 1970; Nonequilibrium facilitated transport in hemoglobin solutions, Biophys. J., 10:38–54.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mochizuki, M., Kagawa, T., 1986; Numerical solution of partial differential equations describing the simultaneous O2 and CO2 diffusions in the red blood cell, Jap. J. Physiol., 36:43–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Spaan, J.A.E., Kreuzer, F., van Wely, F.K., 1980; Diffusion coefficients of oxygen and hemoglobin as obtained simultaneously from photometric determination of the oxygenation of layers of hemoglobin solutions, Pflügers Arch, 384:241–251.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Whalen, W.J., Riley, J., Nair, P., 1967; A microelectrode for measuring intracellular PO2, J. Appl. Physiol., 23:798–801.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Whalen, W.J., 1971; Intracellular PO2 in heart and skeletal muscle, The Physiologist. 14:69–82.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Whalen, W.J., Buerk, D.G., Thuning, C.A., 1973a; Blood flow-limiting oxygen consumption in resting cat skeletal muscle, Am. J. Physiol. 224:763–768.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Whalen, W.J., Nair, P., Buerk, D., 1973b; Oxygen tension in the beating cat heart in situ, in: “Oxygen Supply — Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Oxygen Supply and Microcirculation of Tissue,” Urban and Schwarzenberg, West Germany, pp. 199–201.Google Scholar
  25. Whalen, W.J., Nair, P., Buerk, D., Thuning, C.A., 1974; Tissue PO2 in normal and dener-vated cat skeletal muscle, Am. J. Phvsiol., 227:1221–1225.Google Scholar
  26. Whalen, W.J., Buerk, D.G., Thuning, C.A., Kanoy, Jr., B.D., Duran, W.N., 1976; Tissue PO2, VO2, blood flow and perfusion pressure in resting dog gracilis muscle at constant flow, in: “Oxygen Transport to Tissue — II,” Plenum Press, N.Y., Adv. Exp. Med. Biol., 75:639–655.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. G. Buerk
    • 1
  • L. Hoofd
    • 2
  • Z. Turek
    • 2
  1. 1.Biomedical Engineering and Science InstituteDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologySchool of Medicine, Catholic UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations