It can be demonstrated by an indicator method that living cells are as freely permeable to oxygen as dead cells, and that sudden admission of oxygen to the cell cannot account for increased oxidation as a result of stimulation. Oxygen penetrates as readily as carbon dioxide among the acids and ammonia among the alkalies.
Exposure of living plant cells to high oxygen pressures does not initiate certain oxidations (except after some hours), which proceed readily in dead plant cells in the air. In the light of the preceding statement, about the permeability of cells for oxygen, this is interpreted to mean that more oxygen enters the cell at high pressure, but that the reacting substances (chromogen and oxidase) are kept apart by some phase boundary as long as the cell is alive. Increased oxygen concentration eventually produces injury to the cell.