When erythrocytes are suspended in a solution of known composition the resultant values of such basic cell parameters as volume and pH are difficult to predict. To facilitate such predictions, we developed a mathematical model describing the passive transmembrane distribution of permeant species; three simultaneous equations were produced. Certain essential data required for the model were determined experimentally; these included the pH dependence of the charge on the hemoglobin molecule and the variation of the osmotic coefficient of hemoglobin with cell volume. Finally, cells were added to various solutions, and then titrated to produce a wide pH range (pH 6-8). We measured the resultant cell volume, cellular and extracellular pH using both conventional and 31P NMR methods. The expected equilibrium values of these electrochemical parameters were also calculated by solving (numerically) the three model equations. The accuracy of the model simulations was evaluated by direct comparison of calculated and experimentally determined values.

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