The phenomenology of the excitation of a cell membrane is described. It is shown that, in the adsorption inhibition of a mobile transferring agent, the descending branch of the voltage-current characteristic can be obtained. The Hodgkin-Huxley model is interpreted in terms of ionic channels and the statistical properties of such a system are examined. In particular, the spectrum of the electrical fluctuations of potassium channels is analysed. Experiments in which “gating currents” were measured are briefly described and interpreted in terms of the cooperative dipole model.
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