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Biophys J. 1993 Jun;64(6):1766-80.

Lateral diffusion in an archipelago. Single-particle diffusion.

Author information

1
Institute of Theoretical Dynamics, University of California, Davis 95616.

Abstract

Several laboratories have measured lateral diffusion of single particles on the cell surface, and these measurements may reveal an otherwise inaccessible level of submicroscopic organization of cell membranes. Pitfalls in the interpretation of these experiments are analyzed. Random walks in unobstructed systems show structure that could be interpreted as free diffusion, obstructed diffusion, directed motion, or trapping in finite domains. To interpret observed trajectories correctly, one must consider not only the trajectories themselves but also the probabilities of occurrence of various trajectories. Measures of the asymmetry of obstructed and unobstructed random walks are calculated, and probabilities are evaluated for random trajectories that resemble either directed motion or diffusion in a bounded region.

PMID:
8369407
PMCID:
PMC1262511
DOI:
10.1016/S0006-3495(93)81548-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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