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Introduction to Cellular Biophysics, Volume 1

Membrane transport mechanisms
Armin Kargol


The aim of this book is to investigate the basic physical phenomena occurring in cells. These physical transport processes facilitate chemical reactions in the cell and that, in turn, leads to the biological functions necessary for the cell to satisfy its role in the mother organism. Ultimately, the goal of every cell is to stay alive and to fulfil its function as a part of a larger organ or organism. This first volume is an inventory of physical transport processes occurring in cells, while the second volume will take a closer look at how complex biological and physiological cell phenomena result from these very basic physical processes.

About Editors

Armin Kargol studied physics and mathematics at the University of Wrocław in Poland, and at Virginia Tech in the US, where he earned a PhD in physics. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications (IMA) in Minneapolis, and at Tulane University in New Orleans. Since 2003, he has worked at Loyola University New Orleans, where he is currently a professor of physics and the Rev. James C Carter, S J, Distinguished Professor in experimental physics.

Table of Contents

2 Introduction to cells  
2.1 Cell structure and chemistry  
2.1.1 Biology of a cell  
2.1.2 Some molecules involved  
2.1.3 The subject of cellular biophysics  
2.2 Properties of cell membranes
2.2.1 Composition of cell membranes  
2.2.2 Membrane as a dynamical structure  
2.3 Membrane transport processes and their significance to cell functions
2.4 Experimental methods for membrane transport.  
3 Permeation  
3.1 Diffusion  
3.1.1 Diffusion laws  
3.1.2 Examples  
3.1.3 Biological aspects of diffusion in cells  
3.1.4 Microscopic model of diffusion  
3.1.5 Diffusion in membranes  
3.2 Water transport  
3.2.1 Driving forces  
3.2.2 Water flux equation
3.2.3 Two mechanisms for water transport in membranes. Aquaporins  
3.3 Concurrent water and solute transport  
3.3.1 Solute and water flux equations  
3.3.2 Thermodynamic derivation of Kedem-Katchalsky equations  
4 Carrier-based transport  
4.1 Basic characteristics  
4.2 Carrier models  
4.2.1 Transitional state theory
4.2.2 Stable configurational states and thermally activated transitions  
4.2.3 Example I: four state model of a uniport  
4.2.4 Example II: A symport model  
4.2.5 Example III: Competitive inhibition or inactivation  
4.2.6 GLUT transporters  
5 Ion channels  
5.1 Ions in solution  
5.1.1 Properties of physiologically important ions  
5.1.2 Electrodiffusion  
5.1.3 Electrodiffusion in membranes. Nernst potential.  
5.1.4 Membrane resting potential  
5.2 Experimental methods for ion permeation.  
5.2.1 Discovery of ion channels  
5.2.2 Early electrophysiology  
5.2.3 Patch clamping  
5.2.4 DNA sequencing  
5.2.5 Ion channel expression  
5.2.6 Protein X-ray crystallography  
5.2.7 FRET  
5.3 Properties of ion channels  
5.3.1 Ion channel selectivity  
5.3.2 Channel gating
5.3.3 Physiological roles of ion channels  
5.4 Mathematical models  
5.4.1 Structural models  
5.4.2 Functional models  
5.5 Examples of ion channels  
5.5.1 Voltage-gated potassium channels  
5.5.2 Voltage-gated sodium channels  
5.5.3 Ligand-gated channels  
6 Active transport: ion pumps  
6.1 Principles of active transport  
6.1.1 Examples of ion pumps  
6.1.2 Resting potential revisited.  
6.1.3 Example: Na+-K+ ATP-ase  
7 Endo- and exocytosis  
8 Bibliography  


Paperback ISBN: 9780750329767

Ebook ISBN: 9781643274096

DOI: 10.1088/2053-2571/aaf86d

Publisher: Morgan & Claypool Publishers


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