Ion Channels: Natural NanoDevices for our Practical Use Project Goals Develop measurement, simulation, and fabrication tools to make ion channels into practical devices that can be controlled for our medical and technological use. Potential Impact Control of channels will produce a technology as important for ions as transistors are important for electrons.
Ion Channels: Natural NanoDevices for our Practical Use Potential Impact Control of Channels implies Control of Biology In Health..and..Disease..and..Devices
Ion Channels: Natural NanoDevices Ready for our Practical Use Ions move through channels by diffusion in an electric field. Channel act as dopants supplying a high density of fixed charge that ensures a high concentration of ‘carriers’, namely mobile ions like Na+ and Cl¯. The following movie made by Umberto Ravaioli and Trudy van der Straaten (Univ Illinois Urbana Champaign) is a 300 ps simulation of two ~130 ps trajectories showing movement of 1 Molar Na+ Cl¯ when a 250 mV potential is applied to a gramicidin ion channel. This is the first calculationof ion movement using the standard methods of computational electronics, i.e., self-consistent Monte Carlo in which the electric potential is computed from fluctuating location of charges using Poisson’s equation.
Ion Channels: Natural NanoDevices Ready for our Practical Use Click in pictureto see a Na+ (black ball) moving successfully through a channel. Na+ moving in and out of a channel while Clˉ (yellow ball) is electrostatically excluded.