Entropy as a method to investigate complex biological systems. An alternative view on the biological transition from healthy aging to frailty
AbstractEveryone is subject to a process of progressive deterioration of control mechanisms, which supervise the complex network of human physiological functions, reducing the individual ability to adapt to emerging situations of stress or change. In the light of results obtained during the last years, it appears that some of the tools of nonlinear dynamics, first developed for the physical sciences are well suited for studies of biological systems. We believe that, considering the level of order or complexity of the anatomical apparatus by measuring a physical quantity, which is the entropy, we can evaluate the health status or vice versa fragility of a biological system. In particular, a reduction in the entropy value, indicates modification of the structural order with a progressive reduction of functional reserve of the individual, which is associated with a failure to adapt to stress conditions, difficult to be analyzed and documented with a unique traditional biochemical or biomolecular vision. Therefore, in this paper, we present a method that, conceptually combines complexity, disease and aging, alloys Poisson statistics, predictive of the personal level of health, to the entropy value indicating the status of bio-dynamic and functional body, seen as a complex and open thermodynamic system.
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Copyright (c) 2017 Roberto Siciliano
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