Fractals in Physiology and Medicine

  • Joachim P. Sturmberg
  • Bruce J. West


Calculus is a method of reasoning by computation of symbols and in medicine this has traditionally followed the path laid out by the physics of the nineteenth and twentieth century, with its smooth continuous functions and differential equations to make predictions. In the latter part of the twentieth century physical scientists began to look in earnest at complex phenomena and discovered to their surprise that the analytic functions they had touted for so long were not adequate for characterising the variations in any but the simplest of processes. This particular failing was discussed from a statistics perspective in an earlier chapter. It is now time to squarely face the general limitations of the traditional modelling techniques in medicine and address a calculus of medicine that is able to incorporate nonlinearity into its descriptions.


Fractal Dimension Heart Rate Variability Hurst Exponent Intrinsic Dynamic Bronchial Airway 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of General PracticeMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.The Newcastle University, NewcastleWamberalAustralia
  3. 3.Army Research OfficeResearch Triangle ParkUSA

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