Quantum effects in ion channels

Event: 
IICQI 2012
Speaker(s): 
Talk type: 
Contributed
Abstract: 

Ion-channels are protein complexes that regulate the flow of particular ions across the cell membrane and are essential for a large range of cellular functions such as neuronal communications and muscle contractions. Ion channels have two main features: (i) they support a very high throughput, comparable with the diffusion rate; (ii) they are highly selective in respect to the ion types. The mechanisms responsible for these two important features are still not well understood. We show that how quantum mechanics might be responsible for functionality of the ion channels despite the high temperature and wet environment of biological systems. Furthermore, we propose an experiment to determine any possible quantum effects in ion channels based on quantum interference.