An Electrochemical Perspective on Excitable Membranes, Channels and Gating

  • Martin Blank


The concepts and techniques of electrochemistry have much to offer in elucidating the properties of biological membranes. Their role has been particularly prominent in the study of excitation where the two subjects, electrochemistry and electrophysiology, had a common origin about 200 years ago in the dispute of Galvani and Volta over the origins of animal electricity. The current explanation of excitation, based on ideas of electrochemistry developed almost a century ago, will be presented here and the debt of biology to electrochemistry will be apparent.


Surface Charge Density Outward Current Voltage Clamp Excitable Cell Interfacial Free Energy 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    W.A. CATTERALL. Science, 223, 653 (1984).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. [2]
    M. MONTAL, P. LABARCA, D.R. FREDKIN, B.A. SUAREZ-ISLA and J. LINDSTROM, Biophys J., 45, 165 (1984).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    P.L. JORGENSEN, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 694, 27 (1982).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    M. BLANK, Colloids Surf, 1, 139 (1980).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. [5]
    M. BLANK, Bioelectrochem. Bioenerg, 9, 615 (1982).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    M. BLANK, Bioelectrochem. Bioenerg, 10, 451 (1983).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    A.L. HODGKIN and A.F. HUXLEY, J. Physiol. (London), 117, 500 (1952).Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    H.R. LEUCHTAG and H.M. FISHMAN, in Structure and Function in Excitable Cells, CHANG, TASAKI, ADELMAN and LEUCHTAG (Editors), Plenum, York, (1983), pp. 415–434.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    S. MCLAUGHLIN, Curr. Top. Membr. Transp, 9, 71 (1977).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    M. BLANK and S. FEIG, Science, 141, 1173 (1963).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    I.R. MILLER and M. BLANK, J. Colloid Interface Sci, 26, 34 (1968).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. [12]
    J.S. BRITTEN and M. BLANK, Bioelectrochem. Bioenerg, 4, 209 (1977).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    T. TEORELL, Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med, 33, 282 (1935).Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    D.L. GILBERT in Biophysics and Physiology of Excitable Membranes, W.J. ADELMAN (Editor), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York (1971), pp. 359–378.Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    M. BLANK, in Structure and Function in Excitable Cells, CHANG, TASAKI, ADELMAN and LEUCHTAG (Editors), Plenum, New (1983), pp. 435–450.Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    A.A. PILLA and G. MARGULES, J. Electrochem. Soc, 124, 1697 (1977).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. R. SCHMUKLER and A.A. PILLA, J. Electrochem. Soc, 129, 526 (1982).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. [17]
    W. LORENZ and K.D. SCHULZE, Z. Phys. Chem. (Leipzig), 262, 1032 (1981).Google Scholar
  19. K.D. SCHULZE and W. LORENZ, Z. Phys. Chem. (Leipzig), 263, 27 (1982).Google Scholar
  20. [18]
    M. BLANK, J. Colloid Sci, 20, 933 (1965).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. [19]
    M. BLANK and J.S. BRITTEN, Bioelectrochem. Bioenerg, 5, 528 (1978).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. [20]
    M. BLANK and W.P. KAVANAUGH, Bioelectrochem. Bioenerg, 9, 427 (1982).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. [21]
    M. BLANK, W.P. KAVANAUGH and G. CERF, Bioelectrochem. Bioenerg, 9, 439 (1982).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. [22]
    A.L. HODGKIN, A.F. HUXLEY and B. KATZ, J. Physiol. (London), 108, 37 (1952).Google Scholar
  25. [23]
    I.R. MILLER, in Topics in Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics, G. MILAZZO (Editor), Wiley, Chichester (1981), Vol. 4, pp. 161–224.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Blank
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations