The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 1–19 | Cite as

Electrical relaxation processes in black lipid membranes in the presence of a cation-selective ionophore

  • John Sandblom
  • Jarl Hägglund
  • Nils-Einar Eriksson


The time course of relaxation of the electric current following steps in the applied potential across lipid bilayer membranes has been measured. The membranes were made cation-selective by the addition of nonactin. To permit the measurement of very short time constants a voltage clamp device was developed in order to reduce the charging period to less than 1 μsec, regardless of the magnitude of the series resistances in the external solutions. It was possible by this method to establish the presence of two electric processes, which were found to behave differently with respect to temperature, applied potential and external solution conditions. The rapid process (τ≈10 μsec) was interpreted in terms of the electric parameters of the polar part of the membrane according to the theory developed by Hägglund and Sandblom (T.I.T.J. Life Sci.2: 107, 1972). The second process (τ≈100 μsec) showed a behavior consistent with the model of Stark, Ketterer, Benz and Läuger (Biophys. J.11:981, 1971), which considers the different rate constants involved in the net transfer of carriermediated ion transport across bilayer membranes.


Lipid Bilayer Benz Series Resistance Electric Parameter Bilayer Membrane 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Sandblom
    • 1
  • Jarl Hägglund
    • 1
  • Nils-Einar Eriksson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and Medical BiophysicsUniversity of Uppsala Biomedical CenterUppsalaSweden

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