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The philosophy of this monograph is to apply an interdisciplinary approach and thus outline the latest advances in such areas as absorption mechanisms of nutrients (sugars, amino acids, dipeptides) and membrane digestion in the small intestine of vertebrates.
The novel updates to the known electrophysiological short-circuit current techniques employed allow for discussing the newest evidence concerning the molecular mechanisms of transport, such as the maximum rate and the affinity of the transporters for a nutrient. Some other topics touched upon concern the roles played by unstirred layers of liquid near the membrane surface, the transport of water and the mechanisms of osmotic phenomena, as well as transport processes control. The validity of the methods developed is illustrated by an analysis of absorption under satiety conditions as compared to fasting conditions and absorption in young and old rats. The probable prospects of applying this biophysical method described to clinical investigations are best demonstrated using specific examples.
State-of-the art concepts and the understanding of epithelial transport phenomena are covered based on the results obtained by the author in the course of his own lifetime research, carried out predominantly in the laboratories headed by the late Prof. A. Ugolev, as well as on data from other researchers.