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 Azithromycin raises concerns because it, too, can block ion channels and tinker with the heart’s electrical pattern. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Antimalarials widely used against COVID-19 heighten risk of cardiac arrest. How can doctors minimize the danger?," 21 Apr. 2020 The tiny gap between two myelin segments exposes a one-micron section of bare axon where ion channels that generate electrical impulses become concentrated. R. Douglas Fields, Scientific American, "The Brain Learns in Unexpected Ways," 12 Mar. 2020 Another shelf in the toolkit [could have] say, different payloads—enzymes or ion channels that could be used to alter activity, or gene-editing enzymes that would correct a mutation. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "BRAIN Initiative’s first director sets sights on clinical tools," 4 Feb. 2020 Sydney Funnel Web spider venom contains a compound known as atracotoxin, a highly toxic ion channel inhibitor. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "The 10 Most Dangerous Spiders in the World," 11 Nov. 2019 For about two-thirds of patients, drugs that modify the function of ion channels—proteins in the membranes of neurons and other brain cells that transmit electrical signals—fully restrain seizures. Jennifer Couzin-frankel, Science | AAAS, "As epilepsy drugs fail nearly one-third of patients, scientists seek root causes of seizures," 12 Dec. 2019 The challenge was to find the right ion channel to target with a drug. The Economist, "Will there ever be a cure for chronic pain?," 20 Sep. 2019 These ions move in and out of the cell via pores known as ion channels. Jenny Wilkerson,, "Is CBD a rising star or just a popular fad?," 12 Sep. 2019 After a single two-day bath in a widely available ion channel drug, the tadpoles rearranged themselves and grew as normal. Sally Adee, Quartz, "Our bodies are full of electricity that could help us fight cancer," 30 May 2019

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

1964, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of ion channel was in 1964

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Cite this Entry

“Ion channel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for ion channel

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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