Scanning Microscopy


The relationship between ions, water, and the electrical properties are fundamental to our understanding of cellular function. This paper is primarily directed at reviewing the theoretical explanations for the changes in cellular potential and ionic composition which are associated with early postnatal development of skeletal muscle. The findings are: (a) a two-fold reduction in tissue hydration and a significant reduction of the diffusive motion of cellular water; (b) ten-fold decrease in cellular sodium; (c) six-fold decrease in tissue chloride; (d) the concentrations of intracellular potassium, and of extracellular sodium, potassium and chloride were constant; and (e) the cellular potential changed by 55 mV. A review of the literature concerning the physical state of potassium and water is made. The theoretical explanations of these findings are evaluated in terms of the classical membrane theory and the association induction hypothesis.

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