Cell Membrane Potential and Ion Balance

Basis of Membrane Potential
The Rx Bricks Podcast
The Rx Bricks Podcast
Cell Membrane Potential and Ion Balance

Differences in ion concentrations inside and outside a cell cause a difference in the charge of the intracellular and extracellular environments. This electrical polarization of a cell relative to its environment is referred to as cellular membrane potential. This potential serves as an energy source for a variety of cellular functions and as a way for excitable cells like muscle cells and neurons to communicate their signals. A cell controls its membrane potential by regulating the concentration of multiple ions and other charged particles. Let’s take a closer look at the biochemistry behind the cell membrane potential.

After listening to this AudioBrick, you should be able to:

  • Define equilibrium and describe the forces at work on ions across a biological membrane.
  • Discuss the importance of the Nernst equation and equilibrium potentials.
  • Describe the importance of Na-K-ATPase in relation to the resting membrane potential (Vr).
  • Describe the nonequilibrium steady-state (NESS).
  • Define and discuss the chord conductance equation.

You can also check out the original brick from our Cellular Biology collection, which is available for free.

Learn more about Rx Bricks by signing up for a free USMLE-Rx account: www.usmle-rx.com

You will get 5 days of full access to our Rx360+ program, including nearly 800 Rx Bricks.  After the 5-day period, you will still be able to access over 150 free bricks, including the entire collections for General Microbiology and Cellular and Molecular Biology.


If you enjoyed this episode, we’d love for you to leave a review on Apple Podcasts.  It helps with our visibility, and the more med students (or future med students) listen to the podcast, the more we can provide to the future physicians of the world.

Follow USMLE-Rx at:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/usmlerx
Blog: www.firstaidteam.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/firstaidteam
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/firstaidteam/
YouTube: www.youtube.com/USMLERX

Learn how you can access over 150 of our bricks for FREE: https://usmlerx.wpengine.com/free-bricks/