Control of Cell Volume and the Electrical Properties of Cell Membranes

  • Frank C. Hoppensteadt
  • Charles S. Peskin
Part of the Texts in Applied Mathematics book series (TAM, volume 10)


Cell contain proteins, nucleic acids, and other macromolecules that often carry many negative charges per molecule. This electrical charge is balanced by positive ions (especially potassium, denoted by K +) that are dissolved in the intracellular water. These ions tend to draw water into the cells by osmosis, and the cells would swell and eventually burst if this osmotic effect were not offset by other factors.


Membrane Potential Cell Volume Osmotic Pressure Ionic Current Sugar Solution 
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Annotated References

  1. Finkelstein, A.: Water Movement Through Lipid Bilayers, Pores, and Plasma Membranes: Theory and Reality (Distinguished Lecture Series of the Society of General Physiologists, Volume 4 ), Wiley, New York, 1987.Google Scholar
  2. Tosteson, D.C. and Hoffman, J.F.: Regulation of cell volume by active cation transport in high and low potassium sheep red cells. Journal of General Physiology 44: 169 - 194, 1960.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Tosteson, D.C.: Regulation of cell volume by sodium and potassium transport. In: The Cellular Functions of Membrane Transport (Hoffman, J.F., ed.) Society of General Physiologists Symposium #10, Prentice Hall, New York, NY, 1964.Google Scholar
  4. Hodgkin, A.L. and Huxley, A.F: A quantitative description of membrane current and its application to conduction and excitation in nerve. Journal of Physiology 117, 500 - 544, 1952.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank C. Hoppensteadt
    • 1
  • Charles S. Peskin
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Natural ScienceMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Courant Institute of Mathematical SciencesNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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