Table 1

Estimates of diffusion times for typical cellular structures, computed from the relation t = x2/D using D = 10–5cm2/s




10 nm

100 ns

thickness of cell membrane

1 μm

1 ms

size of mitochondrion

10 μm

100 ms

radius of small mammalian cell

250 μm

60 s

radius of squid giant axon

1 mm

16.7 min

half-thickness of frog sartorius muscle

2 mm

1.1 h

half-thickness of lens in the eye

5 mm

6.9 h

radius of mature ovarian follicle

2 cm

2.6 d

thickness of ventricular myocardium


31.7 yrs

length of a nerve axon

These diffusion times have been estimated from Model 1.

Ghosh et al. BMC Genomics 2010 11(Suppl 3):S3   doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-S3-S3

Open Data