The electrokinetic stability of washed normal human erythrocytes is discussed from the point of view of pH, ionic strength, and composition of the suspending medium. Many of the electrophoretic characteristics at low ionic strengths (sorbitol to maintain the tonicity), such as the isopotential points, are shown to arise principally from adsorption of hemolysate.

The concept of electrokinetically stable, metastable, and unstable states for the red cell at various ionic strengths is introduced in preference to the general term "cell injury." In the stable state which exists around pH 7.4 for ionic strengths >0.007, no adsorption of hemolysate occurs, in the metastable state reversible adsorption of hemolysate occurs, and in the unstable state, in which ionic strengths and pH ranges are outside the metastable range, the membrane undergoes irreversible hemolysate adsorption or more general hydrolytic degradation.

It is deduced from the equivalent binding of CNS, I, Cl, and F, the pH mobility relationships, and the conformation of the ionic strength data in the stable state to a Langmuir adsorption isotherm, that the membrane of the human erythrocyte behaves as a macropolyanion whose properties are modified by gegen ion association and in some instances by hemolysate adsorption.

The experimental results are insufficient to establish conclusively the nature of the ionogenic groupings present in the membrane interphase.

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