Measurements of the penetration of tissue from Chromodoris zebra are believed to show that a determining factor in penetration involves the establishment of a critical pH (near 3.5) in relation to superficial cell proteins. The rapidity with which this state is produced depends upon acid strength, and upon some property of the acid influencing the speed of absorption; hence it is necessary to compare acids within groups of chemical relationship.
The actual speed of penetration observed with any acid is dependent upon two influences: preliminary chemical combination with the outer protoplasm, followed by diffusion. The variation of the temperature coefficient of penetration velocity with the concentration of acid, and the effect of size (age) of individual providing the tissue sample agree in demonstrating the significant part played by diffusion. In comparing different acids, however, their mode of chemical union with the protoplasm determines the general order of penetrating ability.