Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization -- Department for Nonlinear Dynamics and Network Dynamics Group
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BCCN Sonderseminar

Friday, 20.03.2009 14 c.t.

Poisson-Nernst-Planck modeling of the electrical potential drop along cell membranes

by David Hofmann
from Department of Physics, Technical University of Munich

Contact person: Armin Biess


Seminarraum Haus 2, 4. Stock (Bunsenstr.)


The time-dependent Nernst-Planck and Poisson equations are solved numerically for a model cell membrane between aqueous reservoirs containing several ionic species. The steady state situation is analyzed and compared to the Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz equation, the analytical description of a cell membrane resting potential. Furthermore an external electrical field is applied and the resulting ion flux through the membrane midpoint is computed in order to investigate the dependence of the permeability or conductance on our model parameters. Finally an artificial action potential is generated as a first step for analyzing the dynamic evolution of the electrical potential drop in a full non-equilibrium situation.

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