Ion Channel Kinetics: A Fractal Time Sequence of Conformational States

  • James B. Bassingthwaighte
  • Larry S. Liebovitch
  • Bruce J. West
Part of the Methods in Physiology Series book series (METHPHYS)


Ions such as sodium, potassium, and chloride can move freely through water but cannot cross the hydrophobic lipids that form the cell membrane. However, these ions can interact with proteins in the cell membrane that transport them across the cell membrane. Three types of proteins are involved in ion transport: 1) Pumps, such as the sodium-potassium ATPase, bind tightly to a few ions at a time and use energy from ATP to move these ions against their electrochemical gradient. 2) Carriers, such as the sodium-potassium-chloride cotransporter, bind tightly to a few ions at a time and help them move down their electrochemical gradient. 3) Channels, such as the sodium channel, bind weakly to many ions at a time and allow them to move down their electrochemical gradient.


Energy Barrier Fractal Model Conformational State Closed Time Potential Energy Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© American Physiological Society 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • James B. Bassingthwaighte
    • 1
  • Larry S. Liebovitch
    • 2
  • Bruce J. West
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for BioengineeringUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Center for Complex SystemsFlorida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA
  3. 3.Physics DepartmentUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA

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