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The Diffusion of a Cell Essay


The primary goal of this research was to evaluate the effects of cholesterol on diffusion properties. Scholars use multiple methods to show the movement of the cholesterol particle to diffusion point. The use of solvents and fluorescence microscopy aimed to show the biophysical mechanism in the diffusion process.

Cholesterol is an important player in the lipid composition comprising the cell membrane. Alteration in cell membrane and cholesterol concentration affect receptor protein as well as the cell. By changing many proteins, cholesterol favors the inactive conformation of the photoreceptor rhodopsin. Cholesterol has a few other purposes such as the functioning of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

The objective of this study was to showcase the importance of diffusion to the cell growth, survival, motility adhesion, and proliferation. Cholesterol plays a key role, and its depletion may lead to a decrease in integrin that affects the functionality of the cell. The research divulged the underlying biophysical system behind cholesterol’s impacts on the diffusion of ever-present group of receptors known as integrins.

General Comments

The biophysical mechanism process in cholesterol may not have been well known. Nevertheless, by use of live cell imaging and with the help of a combination of solvents one can identify the working behind the process. The goal of this research was to show the effects of cholesterol on living cells. Besides, the study aimed at showing the influence of cholesterol on human body that comprises numerous cells (Geffen 146).

The study achieved this goal through the use of Single Particle Tracking that entails observing the diffusion of a particle in the cell. The researchers used photobleaching and enhanced the particles using fluorescence. The research also focused on restoration of cholesterol-depleted cells with exogenous Cholesterol. The study signified the ability of epicholestrol to substitute cholesterol (Finegold 106).

The rate of diffusion is measured using Single Particle Tracking (SPT) after photobleaching. The materials and method utilized in the research included a cell culture and bleaching solvents. The method used involved cholesterol depletion, restoration, and substitution. The researchers exposed the cell to the heat as a way to get sufficient results.

The cells were first washed in a serum-free medium to remove cyclodextrin (Wilson and Hunt 88). There was also extraction of lipid to measure the quantity of cholesterol. Imaging was done using a PhotonMax camera to assist in the Single Particle Tracking. The images showed total cellular and membrane cholesterol concentration as measured by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.

The study signified the importance of imaging process in “generating reliable average diffusion coefficients” (Dudek 67). The study’s findings showed that a complete recovery of membrane cholesterol cannot be achieved despite a high total cellular cholesterol concentration. The Single Particle Tracking approach demonstrated the dynamics of integrin under different conditions.

It showed a decrease in the amount of mobile integrin after cholesterol depletion and increase after cholesterol restoration. It may be argued that this experiment showed the effect of the single dot in the diffusion measurements as showed by STP. The integrins bound to ligand-coated quantum dots display the effects of diffusion. The study proved that integrin distribution is confined to cholesterol zones.

According to the study, cholesterol depletion influences integrin diffusion coefficient. The instantaneous distribution varies significantly at different times in the confinement regions. The conclusion is that cholesterol regulates integrin diffusion by changing the physical properties of the membrane.

Epicholestrol yielded similar integrin diffusion properties as those measured after restoration. The research verified that there is no difference in the average diffusion coefficient of mobile integrins inside or outside the confined zones after restoration.


The rate of diffusion of a cell allows it to grow and multiply where necessary. The research shows the distribution in cells and their membrane. Lipids make up a great part of the cell and cholesterol is a major component of lipids. By measuring the rate of diffusion through the membrane of a cell, one can identify the absorption rate.

Such an experiment can shed light on nutrient uptake in living cells that affects cell growth (Barrett and Donowitz 157). The methods used in this research will go a long way towards facilitating the establishment of different diagnostic and treatment procedures. They will enable doctors to establish appropriate diagnosis of patients in troubling cases.

In nutrition, the levels of cholesterol in a particular diet are necessary, and the rate of diffusion in cells can determine how much cholesterol a diet requires. The experiment recognized and identified the effects of other biophysical processes that may be attributed to diffusion (Starr et al. 89). In future, the research can be used in understanding cell metabolism and development in cancer research.

The research also brought out the aspect of diffusion rate of integrin and cholesterol. Besides, it pointed out other ways in which cell metabolism can be evaluated using Single Particle Tracking method. The research was well carried out, and the cells were treated to prevent contamination. The results were conclusive and supported using scholarly and peer-reviewed articles. The imaging process was clear and precise. The future research should focus on nutrition and cell biology in a deeper sense.

Works Cited

Barrett, Kim, and M. Donowitz. Gastrointestinal Transport, San Diego: Academic Press, 2010. Print.

Dudek, Ronald. High-Yield, Cell & Molecular Biology, Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006. Print.

Finegold, Leonard. Cholesterol in Membrane Models, Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press, 2007. Print.

Geffen, Amit. Cellular and Bimolecular Mechanics and Mechanobiology, Berlin: Springer, 2011. Print.

Starr, Cecie, Ralph Taggart, Christine Evers and Lisa Starr. Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life. Australia: Brooks Cole, 2012. Print.

Wilson, John, and T. Hunt. Molecular Biology of the Cell, New York: Garland Pub., 2011. Print.

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IvyPanda. "The Diffusion of a Cell." December 24, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-diffusion-of-a-cell/.


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IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Diffusion of a Cell'. 24 December.

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