On the osmotically unresponsive water compartment in cells

Gary D. Fullerton, Kalpana M. Kanal, Ivan L. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Differences in colligative properties (freezing point, boiling point, vapor pressure and osmotic behavior) between water in living cells and pure bulk water were investigated by re-evaluating reports of the osmotic behavior of mammalian cells. In five different animal cells, osmotically unresponsive water (OUW) values ranged from 1.1 to 2.2 g per g dry mass. Detailed analysis of human red blood cell (RBC) data indicates a major role for hemoglobin OUW-values, aggregation and packing in cell volume regulation that can be explained for the first time in relevant molecular terms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-77
Number of pages4
JournalCell Biology International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Cell water
  • Interfacial water
  • Osmosis
  • Osmotically unresponsive water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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