Semipermeable

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Semipermeable'

Semipermeable Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    semipermeable adj : (of a membrane) selectively permeable
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Semipermeable'


A semipermeable membrane, also termed a selectively-permeable membrane, a partially-permeable membrane or a differentially-permeable membrane, is a membrane that will allow certain molecules or ions to pass through it by diffusion and occasionally specialized "facilitated diffusion".

The rate of passage depends on the pressure, concentration, and temperature of the molecules or solutes on either side, as well as the permeability of the membrane to each solute. Depending on the membrane and the solute, permeability may depend on solute size, solubility, properties, or chemistry. How the membrane is constructed to be selective in its permeability will determine the rate and the permeability.

An example of a semi-permeable membrane is the lipid bilayer, on which is based the plasma membrane that surrounds all biological cells. Many natural and synthetic materials thicker than a membrane are also semipermeable. One example of this is the thin film on the inside of an egg.

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