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Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2010 Nov 13;368(1930):4893-914. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2010.0237.

Theory of hybrid dynamical systems and its applications to biological and medical systems.

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Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo, -6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan.


In this introductory article, we survey the contents of this Theme Issue. This Theme Issue deals with a fertile region of hybrid dynamical systems that are characterized by the coexistence of continuous and discrete dynamics. It is now well known that there exist many hybrid dynamical systems with discontinuities such as impact, switching, friction and sliding. The first aim of this Issue is to discuss recent developments in understanding nonlinear dynamics of hybrid dynamical systems in the two main theoretical fields of dynamical systems theory and control systems theory. A combined study of the hybrid systems dynamics in the two theoretical fields might contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of hybrid dynamical systems. In addition, mathematical modelling by hybrid dynamical systems is particularly important for understanding the nonlinear dynamics of biological and medical systems as they have many discontinuities such as threshold-triggered firing in neurons, on-off switching of gene expression by a transcription factor, division in cells and certain types of chronotherapy for prostate cancer. Hence, the second aim is to discuss recent applications of hybrid dynamical systems in biology and medicine. Thus, this Issue is not only general to serve as a survey of recent progress in hybrid systems theory but also specific to introduce interesting and stimulating applications of hybrid systems in biology and medicine. As the introduction to the topics in this Theme Issue, we provide a brief history of nonlinear dynamics and mathematical modelling, different mathematical models of hybrid dynamical systems, the relationship between dynamical systems theory and control systems theory, examples of complex behaviour in a simple neuron model and its variants, applications of hybrid dynamical systems in biology and medicine as a road map of articles in this Theme Issue and future directions of hybrid systems modelling.

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