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Effects of Temperature on Membrane Electrodiffusion

From a theoretical point of view, many cell functions such as action potential generation and general signaling depend on molecular transport across their membrane. In this work we aim to increase our understanding of how the properties of membrane transport depend on temperature. To start addressing this problem, we use a thermodynamical description of ionic flow across membranes. With this we model two processes of high relevance: cellular excitability and regulation of extracellular pH. We use dynamical systems theory to analyze the behavior of the system with respect to temperature. We specifically address the following questions: (1) Does temperature affect the dynamics of action potential generation and firing frequency? (2) What is the dependence of the transmembrane acidity levels on body temperature? In regard to excitability, we expect to describe the behavior of neurons and other excitable cells in cold blooded animals as the environment temperature changes. In addition, one potentially interesting aspect of our findings in regard to pH regulation is to unravel mechanisms explaining why temperature-based therapies work for the treatment of some cancers.

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Oscar Patterson, Montclair State University
Ramón Martínez, Universidad de Sonora
Ilyssa Summer, Arizona State University
Jose Barrios, Montclair State University
Mayteé Cruz-Aponte, Arizona State University
Marco Arieli Herrera-Valdez, Arizona State University