Modeling and simulation of ion channels

Christopher Maffeo, Swati Bhattacharya, Jejoong Yoo, David B. Wells, and Aleksei Aksimentiev
Chem Rev 112(12) 6250-6284 (2012)
DOI:10.1021/cr3002609  PMID:23035940  BibTex

Transport of ions through pores in membranes is a process of fundamental importance to cell biology. In living organisms, such transport is facilitated by ion channels that utilize the ionic flux to perform diverse biological functions, such as cell–cell communication and signaling, osmotic stress response, muscle contraction, etc. The action of ion channels is responsible for most of what we (humans) perceive as reality in the form of sound, smell, sight, taste, and touch and forms the physiological basis for thought. Biomimetic ion channels are ubiquitous in engineering, with application ranging from water desalination to fuel cells. Here, we review efforts to model and simulate ion channels that occurred within the past 10 years.