Evaluation of dialysis membranes using a tortuous pore model



The pore-size distribution and diffusive permeability of homogeneous cellulosic dialysis membranes were measured by thermoporometry and by radioisotope and photoabsorption techniques, respectively. A tortuous pore model incorporating membrane pore-size distribution, in which tortuosity differs with pore size, can predict diffusive permeability for a wide range of solute molecular weights. The tortuosity obtained using the tortuous pore model by fitting the experimentally obtained diffusive permeability varied with molecular weight (Stokes radius). To evaluate the physical meaning of the tortuosity varied with solute Stokes radius, the tortuosity of the tortuous pore model was correlated to permeability parameters of the friction model. Tortuosity is represented by a ratio of intramembrane friction coefficients for solute and water between actual and hypothetical membrane having isodiametric pores for which the straight pore model is valid. The change in the ratio with the solute is attributable to the pore-size distribution.