Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Patch-clamp recording allows investigations of the gating kinetics of single ion channels. Statistical analysis of kinetic data can enhance our understanding of channel gating at a molecular level. Experimental channel records suffer from time interval omission, i.e. failure to detect brief channel openings and closings. It is important to incorporate this phenomenon into statistical analyses of ion channel data. When time interval omission is ignored, the method of maximum likelihood can usually be used to estimate gating parameters from a single channel record. However, it is far more difficult to apply this method when time interval omission is incorporated. We present an alternative approach to parameter estimation based on Poisson sampling. A simulated homogeneous Poisson process is superimposed onto the channel record and inference is based on the numbers of points in successive open and closed sojourns, rather than on the sojourn times themselves. We describe the method for the two-state Markov model C ⇆ O, although it is applicable to more general models. Computer-simulated data are used to demonstrate the efficacy of the method. Modifications of the method are discussed briefly.

Original publication




Journal article


Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Publication Date





263 - 269