Academic and research departmentsLeverhulme Quantum Biology Doctoral Training Centre (QB-DTC), School of Biosciences and Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.
My research project
Investigation of quantum coherent transport and EM field sensitivity of ion channel transport of neuronal cells
Nerve ion channels play a crucial role in brain function as nerve firing is triggered by the opening and closing of ion channels that allows a current of molecular ions to flow in and out of neurons, triggering an action potential to travel along the nerve. It has been hypothesized that quantum coherence and quantum interference effects play a key role in both selectivity and speed of transport through ion channels in nerve membranes. This hypothesis seems to correlate with the recent finding that weak electromagnetic (EM) fields, of the strength and structure of endogenous EM fields in the brain, influence the pattern of neuron firing and particularly neuronal synchrony. The neuronal synchrony may also be associated with entanglement of EM signals, as well as multi-bit level parallel processing due to the wave nature of the EM signal and the ion channel when triggered.
The aim of this project is to test the hypothesis that quantum coherence plays a role in neuronal ion transport and investigate its sensitivity to EM fields. We will thus start to investigate the effects of different EM fields on different ion channels. We will use electrophysiological techniques, such as Patch Clamp, to record currents through ion channels both with and without external EM fields and using both normal and heavy isotopes of ions, such as Na+, K+ and other relevant ions, in order to perturb coherences. We will also attempt to examine if more than one EM signal coupled to the trigger will allow for the firing to be made easier due to lower thresholds via an entanglement mechanism. We will compare the results to predictions made through quantum mechanical simulations of ion channel conductivity in order to test the hypothesis that quantum coherence is involved in ion channel conductivity and selectivity.