Definition of Concentration gradient
1. Noun. A gradient in concentration of a solute as a function of distance through a solution. "The movement of a solute down its concentration gradient is called diffusion"
Medical Definition of Concentration gradient
A column of liquid in which the density varies continually with position, usually as a consequence of variation of concentration of a solute.
Such gradients may be established by progressive mixing of solutions of different density as for example: sucrose gradients) or by centrifuge induced redistribution of solute (as for caesium chloride gradients).
Density gradients are widely used for centrifugal and gravity induced separations of cells, organelles and macromolecules. The separations may exploit density differences between particles or primarily differences in size, in which latter case the function of the gradient is chiefly to stabilise the liquid column against mixing.
(12 Jan 1998)
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