Quarterly Reviews of Biophysics

Research Article

Channel noise in nerve membranes and lipid bilayers

F Contia1 and E. Wankea2

a1 Laboratorio di Cibernetica e Biofisica, CNR, Camogli, Italy; Laboratorium für Biochemie, ETH, Zürich, Switzerland

a2 Laboratorio di Cibernetica e Biofisica, CNR, Camogli, Italy

The basic principles underlying fluctuation phenomena in thermodynamics have long been understood (for reviews see Kubo, 1957; Kubo, Matsuo & Kazuhiro 1973 Lax, 1960). Classical examples of how fluctuation analysis can provide an insight into the corpuscular nature of matter are the determination of Avogadro's number according to Einstein's theory of Brownian motion (see, e.g. Uhlenbeck & Ornstein, 1930; Kac, 1947) and the evaluation of the electronic charge from the shot noise in vacuum tubes (see Van der Ziel, 1970).