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Published November 1970 | Published
Journal Article Open

Electrical Characteristics of Sphingomyelin Bilayer Membranes


Current-voltage characteristics and the conductivity temperature dependence of sphingomyelin bilayer membranes have been determined. The resistances were of the order of 10^8 Ω-cm^2 and exhibited ohmic behavior up to approximately 25 mv followed by increasing conductivity with applied voltage. The current is found to be proportional to a hyperbolic sine function of the voltage. The temperature dependence indicates a thermally activated conduction mechanism. The observed behavior closely follows a kinetic model involving a barrier modified by the applied electric field, the rate-limiting process being the surmounting of the barrier by the impinging ions. The model allows predictions to be made over a wide range of conditions.

Additional Information

Copyright © 1970 The Biophysical Society. Received for publication 16 February 1970 and in revised form 24 June 1970. This work was supported in part through National Institutes of Health Special Fellowship Grant No. 1 F03 GM42688-01.

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