Faculty Publications

Title

Resting membrane potentials: a student test of alternate hypotheses.

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The American journal of physiology

Volume

269

Issue

6 Pt 3

Abstract

The frog sartorius muscle is a model tissue for demonstrating to physiology students the principles underlying both membrane phenomena and hypothesis testing. Myocytes can be impaled with conventional glass microelectrodes to measure membrane voltage (Vm). Further, Vm is observed as extracellular K+ is altered and a K+ channel blocker is added. After the experiment, students examine the underlying assumptions of the Nernst equilibrium and the Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz equation. They ultimately determine which of the two algorithms best predicts the measured Vm. In addition, students learn micromanipulation and impalement techniques. This experiment facilitates the student's understanding of membrane permeability, ionic gradients, and membrane voltage.

Original Publication Date

1-1-1995

DOI of published version

10.1152/advances.1995.269.6.s37

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