The steady-state transport of oxygen through hemoglobin solutions was studied to identify the mechanism of the diffusion augmentation observed at low oxygen tensions. A novel technique employing a platinum-silver oxygen electrode was developed to measure the effective diffusion coefficient of oxygen in steady-state transport. The measurements were made over a wider range of hemoglobin and oxygen concentrations than previously reported. Values of the Brownian motion diffusion coefficient of oxygen in hemoglobin solution were obtained as well as measurements of facilitated transport at low oxygen tensions. Transport rates up to ten times greater than ordinary diffusion rates were found. Predictions of oxygen flux were made assuming that the oxyhemoglobin transport coefficient was equal to the Brownian motion diffusivity which was measured in a separate set of experiments. The close correlation between prediction and experiment indicates that the diffusion of oxyhemoglobin is the mechanism by which steady-state oxygen transport is facilitated
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