Propagation of the change in the membrane potential using a biocell-model†
A new model system of nerve conduction, which has two sites (the potential-sending and the potential-receiving sites) was constructed by the use of some liquid-membrane cells which mimic the function of the K+ and Na+ channels. The model system setup was such that the membrane potential of the K+-channel cell (resting potential) was different from that of the Na+-channel cell (action potential). Initially, the K+-channel cell at the potential-sending site was connected to that at the potential-receiving site. After switching from the K+-channel cell to the Na+-channel cell at the potential-sending site, the membrane potential of the K+-channel cell at the potential-receiving site began to vary with the generation of the circulating current. By placing several K+-channel cells in parallel at the potential-receiving site, the propagation mechanism of the action potential was interpreted and the influence of the resistor and the capacitor on the propagation was evaluated.