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Depolarize

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Definition

verb

To cause or to undergo the loss of polarity or polarization


Supplement

The term depolarize is used when referring to the act of losing or removing of the polarization or polarity from something. In physiology, the cell can be depolarized for a brief period of time. In its resting state, the charge within the cell is relatively negative to its surroundings. The cell may be depolarized when the negative charge of the internal environment shifts to a positive charge. This process of shifting charges within the cell thereby losing polarization is referred to as depolarization. This process depends upon the intrinsic electrical nature of a cell. The cell regulates the electrical charge of its internal environment through the efflux and influx systems of charged particles (ions) across its plasma membrane. The transport of ions into and outside of the cell is accomplished by transport proteins (e.g. transmembrane proteins such as ion channels, sodium potassium pumps, and voltage gated ion channels) embedded in the plasma membrane.


Word origin: Latin (from, away from, out of) + polarize

Variant(s):

  • depolarise

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