Precise evaluation of permeability of biological tissues is often prevented by imprecise knowledge of operative forces. This problem has been approached by analysis of fluxes of isotopic species applied to opposite surfaces of a membrane. A simple and rather general flux ratio equation has been derived which may permit evaluation of membrane permeability, even without knowledge of forces, or of the nature of active transport processes. Permeability as thus defined should be insensitive to coupled flows, either of other species or of metabolism. In appropriate circumstances application of the equation may permit evaluation of the contributions of the various processes to the transport of the examined species. Composite series membranes would be expected to obey the unmodified general equation. Heterogeneous parallel pathways would alter the relation in a predictable manner. The effect of isotope interaction is specifically incorporated. The formulation is applied to consideration of energetics of active transport.

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