About this Course
4.5
33 ratings
11 reviews
Nerves, the heart, and the brain are electrical. How do these things work? This course presents fundamental principles, described quantitatively....
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Intermediate Level

Intermediate Level

Clock

Suggested: 6 hours/week

Approx. 22 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Intermediate Level

Intermediate Level

Clock

Suggested: 6 hours/week

Approx. 22 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Electricity in Solutions

This week's theme focuses on the foundations of bioelectricity including electricity in solutions. The learning objectives for this week are: (1) Explain the conflict between Galvani and Volta; (2) Interpret the polarity of Vm in terms of voltages inside as compared to outside cells; (3) Interpret the polarity of Im in terms of current flow into or out of a cell.; (4) Determine the energy in Joules of an ordinary battery, given its specifications; (5) State the “big 5” electrical field variables (potentials, field, force, current, sources) and be able to compute potentials from sources (the basis of extracellular bioelectric measurements such as the electrocardiogram) or find sources from potentials....
Reading
12 videos (Total 66 min), 5 readings, 2 quizzes
Video12 videos
What is the Question5m
About Bioelectricity5m
Major Sections of the Course5m
Rectification of Names10m
Ions in Solution6m
Core-Conductor Model of a Nerve Fiber9m
Potential and Voltages in the Fiber5m
Axial Currents in the Fiber5m
Membrane Resistance3m
Membrane Current, Failure & Mystery3m
Week 1 in Review4m
Reading5 readings
Welcome to the Coursem
Assessments, Grading and Certificates10m
Course Lecture Slides10m
Discussion Forums10m
Reference Text10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Quiz 1A10m
Quiz 1B16m

2

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Energy into Voltage

This week we will examine energy, by which pumps and channels allow membranes to "charge their batteries" and thereby have a non-zero voltage across their membranes at rest. The learning objectives for this week are: (1) Describe the function of the sodium-potassium pump; (2) State from memory an approximate value for RT/F; (3) Be able to find the equilibrium potential from ionic concentrations and relative permeabilities; (4) Explain the mechanism by which membranes use salt water to create negative or positive trans-membrane voltages....
Reading
12 videos (Total 76 min), 2 quizzes
Video12 videos
A Membrane Patch; the Idea of It7m
Energy as Trans-membrane Voltage Vm3m
Sodium-potassium Pumps4m
Ionic equilibrium13m
Battery lifetime5m
Problem session 14m
Membrane Resistance Rm9m
Membrane capacitance Cm4m
Why is Cm so big?7m
Problem session, R and C8m
Week 2 summary5m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Quiz 2A20m
Quiz 2B12m

3

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Passive and Active Resonses, Channels

This week we'll be discussing channels and the remarkable experimental findings on how membranes allow ions to pass through specialized pores in the membrane wall. The learning objectives for this week are: (1) Describe the passive as compared to active responses to stimulation; (2) Describe the opening and closing of a channel in terms of probabilities; (3) Given the rate constants alpha and beta at a fixed Vm, determine the channel probabilities; (4) Compute how the channel probabilities change when voltage Vm changes....
Reading
12 videos (Total 82 min), 1 reading, 3 quizzes
Video12 videos
Why are passive and active so different?3m
The simulation set-up9m
The passive simulation11m
The active simulation11m
Where does the active response come from?8m
Problem session, passive v active6m
Channels: Experimental isolation of a channel7m
Channels: Observed currents, voltage step4m
Channels: Probability of being open6m
Problem session, Channel probabilities8m
Week 3 Conclusions4m
Reading1 reading
Alpha Beta Programming Assignment Instructions10m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Quiz 3A12m
Quiz 3B18m
Alpha Beta Programming Assignment24m

4

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Hodgkin-Huxley Membrane Models

This week we will examine the Hodgkin-Huxley model, the Nobel-prize winning set of ideas describing how membranes generate action potentials by sequentially allowing ions of sodium and potassium to flow. The learning objectives for this week are: (1) Describe the purpose of each of the 4 model levels 1. alpha/beta, 2. probabilities, 3. ionic currents and 4. trans-membrane voltage; (2) Estimate changes in each probability over a small interval $$\Delta t$$; (3) Compute the ionic current of potassium, sodium, and chloride from the state variables; (4) Estimate the change in trans-membrane potential over a short interval $$\Delta t$$; (5) State which ionic current is dominant during different phases of the action potential -- excitation, plateau, recovery....
Reading
12 videos (Total 95 min), 1 reading, 3 quizzes
Video12 videos
What is the Problem8m
HH replacement for Rm5m
The equation for each pathway10m
Changes in n, m, h11m
Equations for alphas and betas18m
Problem session, I_Na9m
Putting it all together6m
Changes in n, m, h, and Vm5m
Numerical calculations, time and space6m
Problem session, a Vm step4m
Week 4 conclusions5m
Reading1 reading
Action Potential Programming Assignment10m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Quiz 4A16m
Quiz 4B20m
Action Potential Programming Assignment18m
4.5

Top Reviews

By JRSep 25th 2016

Very clear expectations, and the lectures were spaced out nicely to cover material while not being overwhelming. Additionally, the analogies used to convey the principles were clever and helpful!

By AJJan 15th 2018

Interesting class which derived mathematical models that were, and are still used, to describe nerves.

Instructor

Dr. Roger Barr

Anderson-Rupp Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Biomedical Engineering, Pediatrics

About Duke University

Duke University has about 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students and a world-class faculty helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge. The university has a strong commitment to applying knowledge in service to society, both near its North Carolina campus and around the world....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

  • No. Completion of a Coursera course does not earn you academic credit from Duke; therefore, Duke is not able to provide you with a university transcript. However, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.