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Entropy 2017, 19(1), 40; doi:10.3390/e19010040

Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics of Ion Flux through Membrane Channels

1
Department of Medical Education, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, No. 21, Sec. 2, Nan-Ya S. Rd., Ban-Chiao, Taipei 220, Taiwan
2
Department of Family Medicine, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, No. 21, Sec. 2, Nan-Ya S. Rd., Ban-Chiao, Taipei 220, Taiwan
Academic Editor: Brian Agnew
Received: 30 November 2016 / Revised: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2017 / Published: 19 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Applied Thermodynamics II)
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Abstract

Ion flux through membrane channels is passively driven by the electrochemical potential differences across the cell membrane. Nonequilibrium thermodynamics has been successful in explaining transport mechanisms, including the ion transport phenomenon. However, physiologists may not be familiar with biophysical concepts based on the view of entropy production. In this paper, I have reviewed the physical meanings and connections between nonequilibrium thermodynamics and the expressions commonly used in describing ion fluxes in membrane physiology. The fluctuation theorem can be applied to interpret the flux ratio in the small molecular systems. The multi-ion single-file feature of the ion channel facilitates the utilization of the natural tendency of electrochemical driving force to couple specific biophysical processes and biochemical reactions on the membrane. View Full-Text
Keywords: ion channel; driving force; nonequilibrium thermodynamics; flux coupling; entropy production; fluctuation ion channel; driving force; nonequilibrium thermodynamics; flux coupling; entropy production; fluctuation
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Hsieh, C.-P. Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics of Ion Flux through Membrane Channels. Entropy 2017, 19, 40.

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