Books  Animal & General Biology  Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 

Cellular Biophysics, Volume 1: Transport

Series: Cellular Biophysics Volume: 1

By: Thomas F Weiss

600 pages, 358 illus

MIT Press

Hardback | May 1996 | #54548 | ISBN: 0262231832
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NHBS Price: £49.95 $64/€54 approx

About this book

Cellular Biophysics is a quantitavely oriented basic physiology biophysics, physiology and neuroscience programmes. It should also serve as a major reference work for biophysicists. Each volume contains introductory chapters that motivate the material and present it in a broad historical context. Important experimental results and methods are described. Theories are derived almost always from first principles so that students develop an understanding of not only the predictions of the theory but also its limitations. Theoretical results are compared carefully with experimental findings and new results appear throughout. There are many time-tested exercises and problems as well as extensive lists of references. The volume on transport is unique in that no other text on this important topic develops it clearly and systematically at the student level. It explains all the principal mechanisms by which matter is transported across cellular membranes and describes the homeostatic mechanisms that allow cells to maintain their concentrations of solutes, their volume, and the potential across the membrane. Chapters are organized by individual transport mechanisms - diffusion, osmosis, coupled solute and solvent transport, carrier-mediated transport, and ion transport (both passive and active). A final chapter discusses the interplay of all these mechanisms in cellular homeostasis. The volume on the electrical properties of cells covers both electrically inexcitable cells as well as electrically excitable cells such as neurons and muscle cells. Included are chapters on lumped-parameter and distributed-parameter models of cells, linear electric properties of cells, the Hodgkin-Huxley model of the giant axon of the squid, saltatory conduction in myelinated nerve fibres, and voltage-gated ion channels.

In this two volume series Weiss lays the foundations of cellular biophysics on physical principles in a framework that should be easily accessible to any student with a basic understanding of calculus and differential equations. The extensive set of thoughtful problems provided with each chapter will be invaluable in solidifying the student's understanding. I think it will be tremendous fun to teach from these texts. --Murray B. Sachs, Massey Professor and Director, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University "This beautiful treatment of cellular biophysics is a landmark. It is comprehensive, scholarly, interesting and clear as a bell. Everyone seriously interested in how cells do business with their surroundings will want to read it." --Charles F. Stevens, The Salk Institute


Units, physical constants, and symbols. Part 1 Introduction to electrical properties of cells: a brief historical perspective; cellular electric potentials; mechanisms of generation of membrane potentials; role of electric potentials in information coding; the marvellous giant axon of the squid. Part 2 Lumped-parameter and distributed-parameter models of cells: electrical variables; electrically small cells; electrically large cells - the core conductor model; summary - a comparison of small and large cells. Part 3 Linear electrical properties of cells: elec-trical properties of cellular membranes; electrically small cells; electrically large cells - the cable model; summary - a comparison of small and large cells. Part 4 The Hodgkin-Huxley model: revelation of ionic mechanisms by the voltage-clamp technique; synthesis of the Hodgkin-Huxley model; explanation of the electrical excitability of the giant axon of the squid; appendices: properties of nonlinear, time-varying conductors; passive, nonlinear, time-invariant con-ductors; passive, non-linear, time-varying conductors. Part 5 Saltatory conduction in myelinated nerve fibres: structure of myelinated nerve fibres; physiological evidence for saltatory conduction; electrical properties of myelinated nerve fibres; model of saltatory conduction in myelinated nerve fibres; conduction velocity of myelinated nerve fibres; causes of saltatory conduction. Part 6 Voltage-gated ion channels: historical perspective; macroscopic ionic currents; gating currents; ionic currents in single channels; model of a voltage-gated channel with one two-state molecular gate; models of multiple-state channels; voltage-gated ion channel macromolecules; appendices: Markov process models of single channels; specific channel kinetic schemes.

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