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Borough of Manhattan Community College

Borough of Manhattan Community College

Title: Modeling Membrane Dynamics In Excitable Tissue

Director: Brett A. Sims


Dates of Program: June 4 - July 13, 2012

Summary: Ion flow through a single ion channel can be mathematically modeled using biological studies of the gramicidin A ion channel. Ion flux through the gramicidin channel is driven by the ion concentration and voltage gradient. Tryptophan amino acids embedded in the gramicidin A channel play a critical role in influencing the ion flow. Change in the molecular conformation of the tryptophan aminos produce changes in its electric dipole moment, thus modulating ion flow through the channel. The electrostatic property of Tryptophan is of major importance in developing an ion flux model at the molecular level. Based on the total channel interaction forces and internal tryptophan molecular force, we will explore and expanded on ion flux equations that theoretically describe dipole modulated ion current. Students will be engaged in developing a deterministic ion flux model that explicitly couples tryptophan molecular dynamics to ion modulation.

Student Researchers Supported by MAA:

  • Imani Blessitt
  • Nicole Nichols
  • Abdur-Rahman Munajj
  • Zani Williams-Senghor

Program Contact:

Bill Hawkins