This book is based on the proceedings of the 19th Taniguchi symposium in biophysics held at Nagoya, Japan, organized to help find a path towards the molecular biophysics of the ion channel. The past ten years have been a golden age in the structure-function study of ion channels. Scientists now stand at the entrance to the world of molecular biophysics of ion channels, the ultimate goal of which is an understanding of ion channel functions based on the dynamics of channel molecules.
Parts I and II examine the combination of electrophysiology and gene technology that has been unveiling the secrets of structure-function of ion channels. Parts IV and V show scientific efforts to depict an essence common to various ion channels and to understand the physical logic of ion channel functioning. Part III indicates paths still to be traced in channel engineering, a method where synthetic molecules could realize channel functions.