Excitable Tissues

The Heart
  • Richard W. Tsien
  • Peter Hess


Cardiac action potentials serve many purposes. They form the cellular basis for pacemaker activity, impulse spread, and control of cardiac contraction. Despite this variety of functions, there are ample reasons for believing that impulses in cardiac cells follow the same general principles as in other excitable tissues. The preceding chapters on nerve and muscle have provided a useful foundation for understanding action potentials in the heart. We shall draw upon such similarities, but shall also focus on the unique aspects of cardiac activity.


Voltage Dependence Cardiac Cell Slow Response Voltage Clamp Purkinje Fiber 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard W. Tsien
    • 1
  • Peter Hess
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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