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ThermalBiophysicsofMembranes.ThomasHeimburgCopyright©2007WILEY-VCHVerlagGmbH&Co.KGaA,WeinheimISBN:978-3-527-40471-111Membranes—AnIntroductionInthesecondhalfofthe19thcenturyitbecameevidentthatanosmoticbar-rierseparatestheinsideandtheoutsideofcells(NägeliandCramer,1855;deVries,1871,1884;Pfeffer,1877).Plantcellprotoplastswerepermeabletowaterbutnottolargermacromoleculeslikesucrose(deVries,1871).Pfefferwasthefirsttostudytheosmoticpressurewithincellsandformulatedtheideathattheprotoplasmofcellsissurroundedbyathinlayer,whichhecalledtheplasmamembrane.Infact,Pfefferproposedthatthismembranedoesnotonlycovertheoutersurfaceofcellsbutalsoseparatesallaqueousenviron-mentsofdifferentcompositionfromeachother.OnemaythereforeconsiderPfefferasthefatherofmembranetheory.Thedevelopmentsinbiologyandbotanycoincidedwitharapiddevelopmentinthetheoryofthermodynam-icsofsolutions.Inparticular,basedonPfeffer’sworkvan’tHofffoundtheformalanalogyofconcentrationsofsolutesinwaterandthepartialpressuresofidealgases(van’tHoff,1...