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The Oxygen-dissociation Curve Of Blood, And Its Thermodynamical Basis

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It was shown by Barcroft and Roberts (7) that the volume y of oxygen taken up in reversible combination, at partial pressure x , by carefully dialysed hæmoglobin solution, is given by the equation y / a = K x /(1 + K x ), (I) where a is the volume taken up at a high pressure, and K is a constant. It is usual to take a as unity, and to speak of y as the “ degree of saturation.” This equation can be deduced thermodynamically for the reversible chemical reaction Hb + O 2 ⇄ Hbo 2 (II) if we suppose the the reacting bodies Hb and Hbo 2 to obey the ordinary laws of osmotic pressure.