Besides their systems nature, as described in the preceding chapters, the single most characteristic feature of a living organism is the self-sustained activity it displays in the form of a wide variety of different oscillatory processes [25, 9, 22, 23]. The respiratory cycle and the beating of the heart are generally recognized as internally generated oscillatory processes that first of all serve to pump oxygen from the atmosphere to the various tissues and cells of the body. The circulating blood, of course, also serves to supply the cells with the nutrients they need, to remove carbon dioxide and other metabolic bi-products, and to maintain hormonal communication between the various organs. The beating of the heart and the ventilation are directly related to our distinction between the living and the dead. We check for the pulse and we check for breathing.
|Title of host publication||Biosimulation in Biomedical Research, Health Care and Drug Development|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|