The difference in electrical charge between the inside and the outside of a cell, caused by a difference in the distribution of ions.
Voltage difference across a membrane due to a slight excess of positive ions on one side and of negative ions on the other. A typical membrane potential for an animal cell plasma memhrane is - 60 mV (inside negative relative to the surrounding fluid).
A difference in voltage across a cell membrane, produced by differences in the elecrtolyte concentration between the intracellular and extracellular fluid. This electrical potential has the abilty to change as the cell alters the electrolyte concentrations, and can use this change to elicit a response or an action, such as contraction of a muscle cell. Close this window