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Bioengineered. 2014 Mar-Apr;5(2):73-9. doi: 10.4161/bioe.26570. Epub 2013 Oct 21.

Hierarchical structure of biological systems: a bioengineering approach.

Author information

1
Universidad del Valle de México; Juriquilla, Querétaro México.
2
Centro de Física Aplicada y Tecnología Avanzada; Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro México.

Abstract

A general theory of biological systems, based on few fundamental propositions, allows a generalization of both Wierner and Berthalanffy approaches to theoretical biology. Here, a biological system is defined as a set of self-organized, differentiated elements that interact pair-wise through various networks and media, isolated from other sets by boundaries. Their relation to other systems can be described as a closed loop in a steady-state, which leads to a hierarchical structure and functioning of the biological system. Our thermodynamical approach of hierarchical character can be applied to biological systems of varying sizes through some general principles, based on the exchange of energy information and/or mass from and within the systems.

KEYWORDS:

biological systems; biophysics; cybernetics; modeling; systems; thermodynamics

PMID:
24145961
PMCID:
PMC4049911
DOI:
10.4161/bioe.26570
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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