Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics of Ion Flux through Membrane Channels


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.

DOI: 10.3390/e19010040

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@article{Hsieh2017NonequilibriumTO, title={Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics of Ion Flux through Membrane Channels}, author={Chi-Pan Hsieh}, journal={Entropy}, year={2017}, volume={19}, pages={40} }