Nerve Biophysics Tutorials

an interactive tutorial package to teach the principles of nerve biophysics.

David Dewhurst, Euan Brown and Lynne Robertson

This interactive tutorial is aimed at first year undergraduate students and covers the essential biophysics of nerve cells based largely on experiments conducted on giant axons of the squid. High quality graphics, and animations are used throughout together with student activities and self-assessment questions.

  • Vertebrate and invertebrate axons – structure and function of myelinated and non-myelinated axons, membrane structure and ion channels, Nodes of Ranvier, composition of intracellular and extracellular fluids
  • The Resting Potential: factors influencing the movement of ions across membranes, ion channels and diffusion potentials. The use of the Nernst and Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz equations to model the resting membrane potential is introduced.
  • The Action Potential: describes the changes in membrane conductance which give rise to the action potential, the phases of the action potential, threshold of excitation, and refractory period.
  • Propagation of the Action Potential: local circuit theory, saltatory conduction, factors affecting conduction velocity e.g. axon diameter, myelination.

Language Versions: English

Recommended System Requirements:

  • Windows:
    • Microsoft Windows XP (32 bit), Windows Server 2003 (32-bit), Windows Server 2008 (32 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit), Windows 8
    • 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor, or Intel Atom 1.6GHz or faster processor for netbooks
    • 128MB of RAM (1GB of RAM recommended for netbooks); 128MB of graphics memory
    • Internet Explorer 7.0 or later, Mozilla Firefox 4.0 or later, Google Chrome, Safari 5.0 or later, or Opera 11
  • Mac OS:
    • Mac OS X v10.6, v10.7, or v10.8
    • Intel Core Duo 1.83GHz or faster processor
    • 256MB of RAM; 128MB of graphics memory
    • Safari 5.0 or later, Mozilla Firefox 4.0 or later, Google Chrome, or Opera 11

Target Audience: first year students on a range of biomedical or biological science courses (medicine, physiology, pharmacology, dentistry, health sciences) in which human physiology is a major component. May also be suitable for advanced high-school students of biology.

Price: £250 (multiuser/departmental educational licence)

ISBN 1 874758 21 2
©2011 Sheffield Bioscience Programs

Click on one of the above screen grabs to see full size image.