## Nerve signals in the body occur when a small voltage, called an action potential, is applied across the membrane of a cell. When this action

Question

Nerve signals in the body occur when a small voltage, called an action potential, is applied across the membrane of a cell. When this action potential is applied across a region of the cell membrane called an ion channel, current in the form of moving potassium ions will be established across the cell. If, during an action potential, a single ion channel with a resistance of 1.8 GΩ, is opened for 0.6 ms, approximately 90000 singly-ionized potassium ions travel through the channel during this time. What was the voltage of the action potential? You can approximate the ion channel to be Ohmic.

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3 years 2021-08-25T09:05:27+00:00 1 Answers 7 views 0

V = 43.2 mV

Explanation:

• If we can approximate the ion channel to be Ohmic, this means that  we can apply Ohm’s Law to get the voltage of the action potential, as follows:

• The definition of electric current, is the rate of change of the charge, i.e., the amount of total charge crossing a given area, perpendicular to the flow of charge carriers, per unit time.
• If we know that approximately 90000 single ionized potassium ions travel through the channel during 0.6 mseg, we can find the value of the current.
• The charge represented by 90000 single ionized potassium ions, is the same as 90000 positive elementary charges, equal to 1.6*10⁻¹⁹ C each (as the potassium single ionized carries a +1 e charge).
• So, total charge is just the product of 90000 by 1.6*10⁻¹⁹ C:

⇒

• Replacing the values of I and R in (1), we get: