KINE 2011 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Nernst Equation, Hydrolysis, Equilibrium Point

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The plasma membrane is polarized electrically (possesses a membrane potential: allows for cellular communication in nervous tissue and muscle. Membrane potential: a difference in the relative number of cations and anions in the icf and the ecf. Opposite charges attract, like charges repel: a separation of charges across the membrane. Work is performed to separate opposite charges. When oppositely charged particles have been separated, the electrical force of attraction between them can be harnessed to perform work when the charges are permitted to come back together. Therefore separated charges have the potential to do work: measured in millivolts (potential is too small to be measured in volts, determination of membrane potential by unequal distribution of + and charges across the membrane: When + and charges are equally balanced across the membrane, no membrane potential exists. When opposite charges are separated across the membrane, a membrane potential exists.

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