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Capillaries will measure diffusion and help in more efficient medical treatment
Date:2/12/2014

How strongly do two dissolved analytes react with each other? Such information is of paramount importance not only in chemistry and molecular biology, but also in medicine or pharmacy, where it is used, i.a., to determine optimal drug doses. A method developed in the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw will allow for determining diffusion coefficients of analytes in fluids and equilibrium constants of reactions quickly, at low cost, and most importantly: universally.

In many medical therapies, a prerequisite for efficient treatment is to maintain appropriate drug concentration in patient's blood. Soon, the selection of optimal doses can be assisted by simple measurement devices that make use of a method for measuring equilibrium constants of analytes in fluids developed in the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IPC PAS) in Warsaw. Only a few millilitres of blood would allow, while you wait, for precise matching of a drug dose with specific patient's body features.

The research on diffusion has been for years carried out at the IPC PAS. The research is based on the phenomena occurring during flow of a liquid, similar to those observed in rivers. In a river bed water flows faster in the bed's central part than at the banks, and when vortices appear in the current, water masses are mixed more effectively. A similar physics helped researchers from the IPC PAS in development of a simple method for determining diffusion coefficients.

The crucial component of the apparatus used in the IPC PAS is a very long (30 m) and very thin polymer tube a capillary. Inside the capillary there flows a carrier liquid: water at room temperature and pH value corresponding to that of human blood. The capillary is tightly coiled, and the flowing water moves at high velocity. The combination of the two factors makes the flow in the capillary not fully homogeneous, and results in g
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Contact: Robert Holyst
rholyst@ichf.edu.pl
Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Source:Eurekalert  

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