I am trying to understand how diffusion in an unsteady system such as a living cell occurs and if Fick's law can be modified to predict the change in the concentration in the cell over time.

Fick's Law is used to determine the diffusion flux to the concentration in steady state systems and is represented by the equation

$$ J = - D \frac{\partial\varphi}{\partial x} $$

where $J$ is the diffusion flux, $D$ is the diffusion coefficient, $x$ is the position/dimension of length, and $\varphi$ is the concentration.

How can Fick's Law and Fick's second law be used to determine how the concentration of a substance within a living cell will change over time? Is this possible? Or is there another equation used in a case like this?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Chemistry.SE! Take the tour to get familiar with this site. Mathematical expressions and equations can be formatted using $\LaTeX$ syntax. I have updated your post with this markup converting your graphic. If you want to know more, please also have a look here. We prefer to not use MathJax in the title field, see here for details. $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Aug 30 '16 at 7:09
  • $\begingroup$ I think that the question is too broad, the answers is very context dependent. $\endgroup$ – user1420303 Aug 30 '16 at 14:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.