The effects of solution unstirred layers on the time course of chemical reactions and transport processes at a membrane surface are determined. A set of equations which describes non-steady-state diffusion through an unstirred layer coupled with chemical reaction at a membrane surface or transport through a membrane is developed. A numerical solution to the equations is obtained by uncoupling diffusive and chemical processes in an iterative manner. The diffusive process is solved by the Crank-Nicolson method; the chemical process is solved by integrating the differential equations describing the kinetics. Diffusive processes in one dimension, in three dimensions, and in the presence of an arbitrary potential near the membrane surface are solved. General characteristics of the calculated reaction time course are discussed using surface binding and membrane transport examples. Small, neglected, unstirred layers are shown to sometimes yield erroneous values of rate parameters for a surface reaction and to simulate competitive reaction kinetics. Experimental approaches for measuring unstirred layer thickness are reviewed. © 1984.
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