Bulletin of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 1–22

A physical model of nerve axon—I. Ionic distribution, potential profile, and resting potential

  • Donald C. Chang

DOI: 10.1007/BF02460678

Cite this article as:
Chang, D.C. Bltn Mathcal Biology (1977) 39: 1. doi:10.1007/BF02460678


A theory which is based on a set of assumptions different from those of the sodium theory is developed. Here the mobile ions are considered to be distributed at Donnan equilibrium and the axoplasm is regarded as an analog of a cation-exchanger. Following the spirit of the Debye-Hückel theory, some important features of the ionic distribution and electrical potential of the nerve fiber have been calculated. The results appear to be in better agreement with the experimental observations than the Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz equation.

Copyright information

© Society for Mathematical Biology 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald C. Chang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsRice UniversityHouston
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsBaylor College of Medicine, Texas Medical CenterHouston

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