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Diffusion Through a Cell Membrane

By Lou Gross1, Monica Beals1, Susan Harrell1

University of Tennessee Knoxville

This module introduces rates of diffusion in the context of understanding simple and facilitated diffusion through the cell membrane. It is intended for an introductory biology audience.

Listed in Teaching Materials | resource by group Quantitative Biology at Community Colleges

Version 1.0 - published on 15 Feb 2019 doi:10.25334/Q44F1F - cite this

Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

facdiff.gif simpdiff.gif

Description

Student Introduction: Substances, such as water, ions, and molecules needed for cellular processes, can enter and leave cells by a passive process such as diffusion. Diffusion is random movement of molecules but has a net direction toward regions of lower concentration in order to reach an equilibrium. Simple passive diffusion occurs when small molecules pass through the lipid bilayer of a cell membrane. Facilitated diffusion depends on carrier proteins imbedded in the membrane to allow specific substances to pass through, that might not be able to diffuse through the cell membrane.

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