The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 67, Issue 1, pp 63–71 | Cite as

Small signal impedance of heart cell membranes

  • David E. Clapham
  • Louis J. DeFelice


The electrical impedance of seven-day ventricular embryonic chick heart cell membranes maintained in tissue culture was measured under voltage clamp using the two-microelectrode voltage-clamp technique. Small sinusoidal perturbations were added to the voltage-clamp potential and the amplitude and phase of the steady-state sinusoidal response in current was recorded as a function of mean clamp potential or perturbing frequency. The experimental results are compared with two models of excitability for heart: the MNT model (McAllister, Noble & Tsien,J. Physiol. (London)251:1–59, (1975) and the BR model (Beeler & Reuter,J. Physiol. (London)268:177–210, 1977). The small signal impedance of heart cell membranes, in theory and experiment, shows a resonance near 1 Hz and near the threshold potential. The effect of this resonance is to increase the effective length constant of the membrane for these conditions.

Key words

embryonic heart cells impedance voltage clamp beat rate propagation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • David E. Clapham
    • 1
  • Louis J. DeFelice
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyEmory University School of MedicineAtlanta

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