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Ion channel gating may be studied by recording the electrical current flowing through a single ion channel in response to a periodically varied linear voltage ramp. We describe a novel computational procedure for the analysis of such data, based upon the construction of single-channel current-voltage surfaces. Analysis of current-voltage surfaces may be used to measure single channel conductances, and to demonstrate voltage dependent channel gating. We verify the procedure using computer simulated data for a simple model of a voltage-gated ion channel. The method is illustrated by its application to data from ion channels formed in planar bilayers by two peptides: (a) des-Ile1, Asn2-mastoparan; and (b) δ-toxin from Staphylococcus aureus. © 1990 Academic Press Limited.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Theoretical Biology

Publication Date





213 - 223