Main distinction – helped with Diffusion vs active Transport

Facilitated diffusion and energetic transport are two methods connected in the transport of molecules throughout the cell membrane. The plasma membrane that a cabinet is selectively permeable come the molecules which move throughout it. Therefore, ions, too as small and large polar molecules, can not pass v the plasma membrane by straightforward diffusion. The motion of ions and also other polar molecules is assisted in by transmembrane protein in the plasma membrane. In both facilitated diffusion and active transport, transmembrane protein are affiliated in the passage of molecules across the plasma membrane. The main difference between facilitated diffusion and energetic transport is that facilitated diffusion occurs v a concentration gradient whereas energetic transport occurs versus the concentration gradient through using energy from ATP.

You are watching: How does facilitated diffusion differ from active transport

Key areas Covered

1. What is facilitated Diffusion – Definition, Mechanism, Function 2. What is active Transport – Definition, Mechanism, Function 3. What room the Similarities in between Facilitated Diffusion and energetic Transport – summary of typical Features 4. What is the Difference between Facilitated Diffusion and energetic Transport – compare of key Differences

Key Terms: Antiporters, carrier Proteins, Channel Proteins, Concentration Gradient, promoted Diffusion, Plasma Membrane, Primary active Transport, second Active Transport, Symporters, Transmembrane Proteins, Uniporters


What is promoted Diffusion

Facilitated diffusion is a membrane transport an approach by which molecule move throughout the plasma membrane with the concentration gradient v the assist of transmembrane proteins. Because the transport of molecule occurs with the concentration gradient, facilitated diffusion walk not use cellular energy for the transport of molecules. Generally, ions and other hydrophilic molecules space repelled indigenous the plasma membrane due to the hydrophobic nature of the lipid molecules in the plasma membrane. Hence, transmembrane proteins the are involved in the helped with diffusion shield the polar and huge molecules indigenous the repulsive pressures of the membrane lipids. Two varieties of transmembrane protein mediate assisted in diffusion. They space carrier proteins and channel proteins.


Figure 1: promoted Diffusion

Carrier proteins bind to the molecule to it is in transported and also undergo conformational alters in the protein, translocating the molecules across the plasma membrane. Channel proteins comprise a spicy via i m sorry the molecules deserve to be transported. Part channel proteins room gated and also can be regulated in response to particular stimuli. Channel proteins transport molecules faster than carrier proteins and are only supplied in the promoted diffusion. Both transport proteins and also channel proteins, which mediate the helped with diffusion, are uniporters. Uniporters just transport a particular form of molecules in a details direction. Instances of transmembrane proteins the are connected in promoted diffusion are glucose transporters, amino acid transporters, urea transporters etc. 

What is active Transport

Active transport refers to the carry of molecules across the plasma membrane against the concentration gradient by making use of energy. Transmembrane transport proteins are connected in energetic transport. Two varieties of energetic transports can be established in a cell. They room primary energetic transport and an additional active transport. Primary active transport straight uses the metabolic power in the type of ATP to transport molecules throughout the membrane. The carrier proteins that move molecules by primary energetic transport are constantly coupled v ATPase. The most typical example the primary active transport is the sodium-potassium pump. That moves 3 Na+ ions right into the cell while moving two K+ ion out that the cell. Sodium-potassium pump helps in preserving the cell potential. The sodium-potassium pump is presented in figure 2.


Figure 2: Sodium-Potassium Pump

The an additional active transport depends on the electrochemical gradient that the ion in either side of the plasma membrane to move molecules. That means secondary energetic transport supplies the energy released by moving one type of molecules with its concentration gradient to transport another kind of molecule versus the concentration gradient. Therefore, transmembrane proteins affiliated in the an additional active transport are called cotransporters. The two species of cotransporters space symporters and also antiporters. Symporters transport both molecules in the very same direction. Sodium-glucose cotransporter is a type of symporter. Antiporters transport the two varieties of molecules to the contrary directions. The sodium-calcium exchanger is an instance of antiporter.

Similarities in between Facilitated Diffusion and active Transport

Facilitated diffusion and active transport space two membrane carry mechanisms, which transfer molecules throughout the plasma membrane.Transmembrane protein are affiliated in both helped with diffusion and active transport.

Difference in between Facilitated Diffusion and energetic Transport


Facilitated Diffusion: Facilitated diffusion is the transport of molecules across the plasma membrane from greater concentration to a reduced concentration by way of transmembrane proteins.

Active Transport: Active transfer is the transfer of molecules throughout the plasma membrane from low concentration to a higher concentration by way of transmembrane proteins, making use of ATP energy.

Concentration Gradient

Facilitated Diffusion: Facilitated diffusion occurs with the concentration gradient.

Active Transport: Active transfer occurs versus the concentration gradient.


Facilitated Diffusion: Facilitated diffusion does no require energy to transfer molecules.

Active Transport: Active move requires power to transport molecules across the membrane.


Facilitated Diffusion: Sodium channels, GLUT transporters, and amino mountain transporters room the examples of promoted diffusion.

Active Transport: Na+/K+ ATPase transporters, Na+/Ca2+ cotransporter, and sodium-glucose cotransporter are the examples of active transport.

See more: How To Replace The Cabin Air Filter In A Toyota Tacoma Cabin Air Filter Location


Facilitated diffusion and active transport are two membrane carry mechanisms connected in the passage of molecules throughout the plasma membrane. Both facilitated diffusion and energetic transport usage transmembrane protein to carry molecules. Assisted in diffusion walk not call for cellular power to transfer molecules. However, active transport offers ATP or electrochemical potential to deliver molecules. Therefore, the key difference in between facilitated diffusion and energetic transport is the usage of energy for the transportation by each method. 


1.“ helped with transport – Boundless open Textbook.” Boundless, 26 may 2016, obtainable here. Accessed 7 Sept. 2017. 2. “Active Transport.” active Transport | biology I, courses. Available here. Accessed 7 Sept. 2017.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Blausen 0394 assisted in Diffusion” by “Medical collection of Blausen clinical 2014”. WikiJournal of medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436. – Own work (CC through 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia2. “OSC Microbio 03 03 Transport” by CNX OpenStax – (CC by 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia