Minimum Entropy Generation in the Cardiovascular System
Schaible, Niccole Stephanie
More InformationShow full item record
This study was performed under the motivation to find a scheme that could describe the complex behavior of cardiovascular homeostasis. This is hypothesized to be manifested in a thermodynamic description of the cardiovascular system (CVS). Seen from a thermodynamic framework, the mechanics of blood flow can be gauged in similar terms as metabolic exchange at the capillaries - thereby providing a holistic and novel perspective on overall CVS function. Entropy generation, a thermodynamic calculation, represents lost work and is hypothesized to reveal something about the "optimal" state of the CVS. In particular, it is hypothesized that the CVS state that generates minimal entropy, given certain constraints, will be physiologically preferred and that cardiovascular control operates to find this state. This will be tested by first proposing a method to calculate entropy generation in the CVS, and secondly characterizing entropy generation across unique CVS states by simulation of a mathematical model.
Master of Science