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Ions – Cations and Anions

  • Many types of image descriptionions are dissolved in the water environment that surrounds the neuron cell membrane.
An image showing the neuron cell membrane bipolar phospholipids surrounded by ions and water
An image showing the neuron cell membrane bipolar phospholipids surrounded by ions and water with labels below
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  • Ions are charged particles that image descriptionform when atoms and molecules gain or lose one or more electrons.
An image showing Na and Cl ions with their electrons
An image showing Na and Cl ions with their electrons, Na labeled as positive
An image showing Na and Cl ions with their electrons, Cl labeled as negative and Na labeled as positive
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  • In a water environment there are many ions. Sodium (Na+) , Potassium (K+), Calcium (Ca+2), Chloride (Cl-), and proteins (-) are the most common.
  • Ions image descriptionattract nearby polar water molecules.
  • The resulting hydration layers keep anions and cations image descriptionseparated, which allows the ions to remain dissolved in the water.
  • If the hydration layers are image descriptionremoved, molecules such as NaCl (sodium chloride) or KCl (potassium chloride) will form due to ionic bonding between the anions and cations.