Unmyelinated and Myelinated Axons
Chemical Properties of Water
- The environment around the neuron cell membrane, both inside and out, consists mostly of water.
- Water molecules are composed of one oxygen atom (O) covalently bonded to two hydrogens atoms (H).
- The covalent bond means oxygen and water share electrons.
- Their affinity for the shared electrons is not equal, however. The oxygen atom is more electronegative (an atom’s tendency to attract electrons).
- As a result, the negatively charged electrons tend to spend more time around the oxygen, which causes the water molecules to become polar.
- Most of the time, the oxygen side of the molecule is slightly negative and the hydrogen side is slightly positive.