Hydrodynamic model of the Michaelis-Menten mechanism

Setsuro Sugata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A trumpet-shaped vessel was designed as a hydrodynamic model of the Michaelis-Menten mechanism with a set of parameters corresponding to νmax and Km. The vessel had a branch near the bottom, with a capillary tube attached to the head of the branch. The volume of water in the vessel (V) and that drained away via the tube represent the concentrations of substrate ([S]) and of product, respectively. The validity of the vessel as a model for the mechanism was demonstrated both theoretically and experimentally. The model explained the mechanism simply and almost perfectly. The followings could be directly understood from the model: (i) the flow rate, Q (corr. to the rate of product formation, ν), was proportional to water level, h (corr. to cone, of enzyme-substrate complex, [ES]); and (ii) the relationship between V (corr. to [S]) and h (corr. to [ES] or ν). The models with other sets of parameters, which were drawn graphically by computer, explained the characteristics of νmax and Km.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-357
Number of pages9
JournalACH - Models in Chemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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