By Louis J. DeFelice

DeFelice offers this complex topic in an easy-to-follow, stepwise type: he experiences the basics of electrical energy; transfers these ideas to a organic context; and expands the dialogue to surround the subject's functional dimensions. transparent definitions and intuitive descriptions represent the presentation, that is complemented via over a hundred and fifty drawings and graphs. arithmetic is saved to the minimal helpful. The textual content covers either excitable and non-excitable membranes and comprises the plasma membrane in addition to intracellular membranes.
a different, `electronics-made-simple' appendix, designed in particular for biologists, treats the operational amplifiers utilized in patch clamp, and different appendices provide strategies to equations and examples that illustrate principles.

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Extra info for Electrical Properties of Cells: Patch Clamp for Biologists

Sample text

2 to show that the two salt solutions are electroneutral. Salt water by itself does not have an excess charge. If we look at the volume of Region 1 or 2, there are as many (+)s as (-)s. In a restricted volume, (+) and (-) charges are about equal, at least on average (see IMN, p. 33, for a discussion of ions moving in salt water). If there is a voltage difference between Regions 2 and 1 (as we said there was), then there must be a separation of charge. 1. Compartmental model of a cell on the inside.

To gain insight into diffusion, consider the following problem. Suppose we have two concentrations a and b of some diffusable substance. Assume that a and b are kept constant at places far from a barrier that has a hole in it. The two concentrations mingle in the hole, then form a new concentration (IMN, p. 46). We can think of this as an average of a and bo If diffusion is the process, the average concentration in the whole is: . 5. N particles near an interface Diffusion S3 This is a number between a and b, but it is not the usual average we think of (see Appendix 3).

This of course is channel-like behavior. It is a little more complicated than a string of delta functions, but it is still straightforward. If the switch is open long enough compared to r = C/G, then the output reaches some flat plateau. If it is opened too briefly, then the voltage cannot rise to the top before it closes again-so the response is not so high as the others. As before two responses can overlap and accumulate. We return to this simple idea over and over, because it is the basis of excitability.

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