Home ACCREDITED EADL COURSE on Fractal Physiology and Chaos in Biology and Medicine
ACCREDITED EADL and IADL COURSE on Fractal Physiology and Chaos in Biology and Medicine

According to classical concepts of physiologic control, healthy systems are self-regulated to reduce variability and maintain physiologic constancy. In front of such predictions of homeostasis, however, the output of a wide variety of systems, relating in particular the physiology of the cardiovascular system, the neurologic and the psycho-physiological systems, fluctuates in a complex manner, even under resting conditions. We give here only indicative examples of a large body of presently involved fields of application relating actually the whole body of the medicine. The normal human heartbeat fluctuates, as example, in a complex manner. Currently applied advanced non linear methodologies reveal the presence of long-range, power-law correlations, as part of multi-fractal cascades operating over a wide range of time scales. These scaling properties suggest that the nonlinear regulatory systems are operating far from equilibrium, and that maintaining constancy is not the central point of physiologic control. In contrast, subjects having high risk of sudden death (including those with heart failure) evidence fractal organization, along with certain nonlinear interactions, breaks down.
Application of fractal and chaos analysis may provide new approaches to estimate the cardiac risk and forecasting sudden cardiac death, as well as to monitoring the aging process. Important studies are totally devoted to psychological and psychiatric disorders. Still, a number of complex anatomic structures also display fractal-like geometry. Examples include arterial and venous trees as well as the branching of certain cardiac muscle bundles, systems as the tracheo-bronchial tree and the His-Purkinje conduction system. Self-similar cardiopulmonary structures realize at least one fundamental physiologic function as the rapid and efficient transport over complex and spatially distributed patterns. Fractal geometry also evidences its basic role in important aspects of cardiac mechanical function. A lot of other systems contain fractal-like structures that facilitate information dissemination (relating in particular the nervous system and current neurosciences), nutrient absorption, distribution, collection, and transport (biliary ducts, renal calyces, choroidal plexus, and placental chorionic villae).
It is also of great importance the fact that with aging and disease, fractal anatomic structures start to evidence degradation in their structural complexity. Detailed cases include loss of dendritic arbor in aging cortical neurons and vascular pruning in primary pulmonary hypertension.
Field of particular interest is becoming also the multimodality approach to study the fractal physiology of tumor angiogenesis as well as some current studies at our School on Dynamics of Pain.
Chaos and Fractal analysis is becoming also a basic tool in chaos and fractal genetics and in investigations in plant physiology.
The course has the finality to give appropriate competence and specialization in such fields. Arranged in four semesters, learning starts from the basic foundations of the involved theory and arriving to direct application in the various fields of current interest. A final dissertation of research is required.
A limited number of twenty scholars (degree in medicine, psychology, biology, agricultural science) is admitted by selection. The course may be followed at distance learning as well as by frontal lessons.
For informations contact the secretary of the course at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it