Literally meaning: carrier of ions
Origin: Anc Greek
ιόν/ion(=ion) > from neut participle of verb είμι/imi=go, because an ion moves toward the electrode of opposite charge . (1794–1866))
The term “ion”, introduced by English physicist and chemist Michael Faraday (1791-1867) in 1834 after suggestion of English philosopher and polymath William Whewel. The term “ionophore” coined later by Pressman in 1964.
An ionophore is a lipophilic molecule usually synthesized by microorganisms that facilitates the transport of ions across the cell membrane. It is interesting that most of naturally ocuring ionophores were discovered because of their antibiotic properties.