1. It is shown that when part of the gelatin in a solution of gelatin chloride is replaced by particles of powdered gelatin (without change of pH) the membrane potential of the solution is influenced comparatively little.
2. A measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration of the gelatin chloride solution and the outside aqueous solution with which the gelatin solution is in osmotic equilibrium, shows that the membrane potential can be calculated from this difference of hydrogen ion concentration with an accuracy of half a millivolt. This proves that the membrane potential is due to the establishment of a membrane equilibrium and that the powdered particles participate in this membrane equilibrium.
3. It is shown that a Donnan equilibrium is established between powdered particles of gelatin chloride and not too strong a solution of gelatin chloride. This is due to the fact that the powdered gelatin particles may be considered as a solid solution of gelatin with a higher concentration than that of the weak gelatin solution in which they are suspended. It follows from the theory of membrane equilibria that this difference in concentration of protein ions must give rise to potential differences between the solid particles and the weaker gelatin solution.
4. The writer had shown previously that when the gelatin in a solution of gelatin chloride is replaced by powdered gelatin (without a change in pH), the osmotic pressure of the solution is lowered the more the more dissolved gelatin is replaced by powdered gelatin. It is therefore obvious that the powdered particles of gelatin do not participate in the osmotic pressure of the solution in spite of the fact that they participate in the establishment of the Donnan equilibrium and in the membrane potentials.
5. This paradoxical phenomenon finds its explanation in the fact that as a consequence of the participation of each particle in the Donnan equilibrium, a special osmotic pressure is set up in each individual particle of powdered gelatin which leads to a swelling of that particle, and this osmotic pressure is measured by the increase in the cohesion pressure of the powdered particles required to balance the osmotic pressure inside each particle.
6. In a mixture of protein in solution and powdered protein (or protein micellæ) we have therefore two kinds of osmotic pressure, the hydrostatic pressure of the protein which is in true solution, and the cohesion pressure of the aggregates. Since only the former is noticeable in the hydrostatic pressure which serves as a measure of the osmotic pressure of a solution, it is clear why the osmotic pressure of a protein solution must be diminished when part of the protein in true solution is replaced by aggregates.