Voltage-sensitive ion channels are macromolecules embedded in the membranes of nerve and muscle fibers of animals. Despite decades of intensive research under the traditional approach of gated structural pores, the relation between the structure of these molecules and their function remains enigmatic. This book examines physically oriented approaches not covered in other ion-channel books, and it develops a new physics-based approach to the problem of molecular excitability.
Critically examines existing models of structure--function relations, guided by experimental data and physical principles
Unifies topics from electrophysiology, condensed-state physics, polymer chemistry and genetic engineering as they bear on the problem of molecular excitability
Deals with optical, thermal and mechanical as well as electrical measurements -- in the frequency domain as well as the time domain
Topics are introduced at an elementary level, and terms are clearly defined because the book is intended to attract readers from a wide range of disciplines
Develops a new physics-based approach, gateless gating, to the problem of molecular excitability