how to measure/alter surface charge of algal cells??

tivol at tivol at
Thu Sep 1 16:21:22 EST 1994

Dear Donald,
	As far as measuring the charge, an experiment analogous to the Millikan
(sp?) oil drop experiment could measure the total charge, and if internal 
charges are negligable, that would give the surface charge.  Put the cells
between two plates at different potentials, wait for steady-state velocity,
and use Stokes' law to calculate the electrostatic force, hence charge.  A
problem might occur if the cell membrane gives charge separation so that any
surface charge is balanced by an opposite internal charge.  In that case,
measurement of the membrane potential and capacitance should give the right
answer for that fraction of the surface charge cancelled by internal charge.
Good luck.
				Bill Tivol

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