There is a general agreement that investigating the permeability characterises of biological membranes not only has intrinsic value but could also contribute to our understanding of the function and structure of membranes. The main purpose of this book is to provide in-depth presentations of physical techniques for measuring water transport and their applications to a variety of biological membranes, from model membrane systems to cell membranes, and then from isolated cells to multicellular barrier systems, such as epithelia or even whole organisms. This survey of water transport in such a broad range of membrane systems will hopefully contribute to understanding of the structure-function relationships and molecular mechanisms of water permeation. Moreover, the description of various techniques, together with a review of literature will enable the readers to assess whether a technique would be useful in helping to solve his or her problem of research and will also expand their competence in these techniques.
1. Location of The Water-Hydrocarbon Interface in Lipid Bilayers 2. Dielectric Relaxation Studies on Lipids and Water in Model Membrane Systems 3. Membrane Transport with Emphasis on Water and Nonelectrolytes in Experimental Lipid Bilayers and Bio Membranes 4. Osmotic Properties of Liposomes 5. Measurements of the Water Permeation by Solvent Isotope Effects. Diffusional Permeation Rates Across Lecithin Bilayers and Across Membranes from Erythrocytes Ghosts 6. Effects of Water and Sugars on Stability of Phospholipid Bilayers 7. Membrane Fusion of Artificial and Biological Membranes: Role of Local Membrane Dehydration 8. Plasma Membrane Ultrastructural Changes Produced by Freezing During the Specimen Preparation Process for Freeze Fracture Electron Microscopy 9. Reversible Dehydration and the Aqueous Compartments of Cells.