ion channel


Definition of ion channel

: a cell membrane channel that is selectively permeable to certain ions (as of calcium or sodium)

Examples of ion channel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Interrupting this flow, a process called ion channel disruption, works, but kills healthy cells, too. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Nanoparticles That Zap and Kill Cancer Cells Are a Small Solution to Huge Disease," 9 Jan. 2019 The respiratory muscles probably have about a hundred different ion channels that are ultimately responsible for normal contraction and relaxation of respiratory muscles. Mark Lieber, CNN, "Sudden infant death syndrome may have genetic basis, study suggests," 28 Mar. 2018 Both could disable gated ion channels embedded in the membranes that control electrical impulses in nerves. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "We can make plants pass out—with the same drugs that mysteriously knock us out," 12 Dec. 2017 The temperature-sensitive ion channels are called TRPV1 and TRPV4. Susan Scutti, CNN, "How fever in early pregnancy can cause birth defects," 10 Oct. 2017 The researchers discovered that two members of a class of ion channels that can sense a change in temperature were present in neural crest cells from chickens and mice. Aimee Cunningham, Washington Post, "How fever in early pregnancy may lead to birth defects," 28 Oct. 2017 Through experimentation, Liu and Benner discovered that the ion channels of these crest cells were sensitive to temperature. Susan Scutti, CNN, "How fever in early pregnancy can cause birth defects," 10 Oct. 2017 The ion channels in their neurons, which these venom toxins target, have mutated so the toxin is ineffective. National Geographic, "Venomous Animals Kill in Horrible Ways—And Also Cure," 18 Sep. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ion channel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ion channel

1985, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

27 Jan 2019

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The first known use of ion channel was in 1985

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ion channel


Medical Definition of ion channel

: a cell membrane channel that is selectively permeable to certain ions (such as of calcium or sodium) Researchers now know that not only do all cells, including nerve cells, have ion channels through which substances such as sodium and calcium move in and out, but that particular subtypes of sodium channels govern the transmission of pain.— Judy Foreman, The Los Angeles Times, 24 Nov. 2003

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