Quantitative Human Physiology book cover

Quantitative Human Physiology

An Introduction

Quantitative Human Physiology: An Introduction presents a course in quantitative physiology developed for undergraduate students of Biomedical Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University. The text covers all the elements of physiology in nine units: (1) physical and chemical foundations; (2) cell physiology; (3) excitable tissue physiology; (4) neurophysiology; (5) cardiovascular physiology; (6) respiratory physiology; (7) renal physiology; (8) gastrointestinal physiology; and (9) endocrinology. The text makes extensive use of mathematics at the level of calculus and elementary differential equations. Examples and problem sets are provided to facilitate quantitative and analytic understanding, while the clinical applications scattered throughout the text illustrate the rationale behind the topics discussed. This text is written for students with no knowledge of physiology but with a solid background in calculus with elementary differential equations. The text is also useful for instructors with less time; each chapter is intended to be a single lecture and can be read in a single sitting.


undergraduate bioengineering students

Hardbound, 960 Pages

Published: February 2012

Imprint: Academic Press

ISBN: 978-0-12-382163-8


  • ".. in terms of what is out there this book provides the best mix I have seen thus far of balancing the two aspects of "quantitative" "physiology" - Professor Sean Collins at University of Massachusetts - Lowell


    "It would be quite useful for engineers who want to ply their trade in the physiological sciences.....  I have been looking for this kind of book for a long time. I am going to show it also to more of my mathematical colleagues. I am still evaluating it and reading it myself-but I love the approach. The author needs to be congratulated for a masterpiece of a work." - Professor Lawrence Basso, MD, Stanford University


    "This book is long-overdue for combined teaching of a course that moves from cellular to systems physiology that truly integrates the quantitation with the physiology. It is an extremely easily read book that covers all aspects of physiology, from the mathematical concepts that underlie how human physiology functions to medically-related diseases and conditions, as well as current medical treatments. I plan to utilize this book for upper level undergraduate biomedical engineering students in sensory and quantitative physiology, as well as for advanced graduate students in a pharmacological and physiological PhD program in medical school, with appropriate emphasis from the book for each student group according to their needs and abilities." - Amy B. Harkins, Associate Professor, Saint Louis University


    “Complements to Dr. Feher-the book is excellent and the students are benefiting.” - Dr. David Reinkensmeyer, University of California, Irvine


  • Preface


    Unit 1 Physical and Chemical Foundations of Physiology

    Chapter 1.1 The Core Principles of Physiology

    Chapter 1.2 Physical Foundations of Physiology I: Pressure-Driven Flow

    Chapter 1.3 Physical Foundations of Physiology II: Electrical Force, Potential, Capacitance, and Current

    Problem Set 1.1 Physical Foundations: Pressure and Electrical Forces and Flows

    Chapter 1.4 Chemical Foundations of Physiology I: Chemical Energy and Intermolecular Forces

    Chapter 1.5 Chemical Foundations of Physiology II: Concentration and Kinetics

    Chapter 1.6 Diffusion

    Chapter 1.7 Electrochemical Potential and Free Energy

    Problem Set 1.2 Kinetics and Diffusion

    Unit 2 Membranes, Transport, and Metabolism

    Chapter 2.1 Cell Structure

    Chapter 2.2 DNA and Protein Synthesis

    Chapter 2.3 Protein Structure

    Chapter 2.4 Biological Membranes

    Problem Set 2.1 Surface Tension, Membrane Structure, Microscopic Resolution, and Cell Fractionation

    Chapter 2.5 Passive Transport and Facilitated Diffusion

    Chapter 2.6 Active Transport: Pumps and Exchangers

    Chapter 2.7 Osmosis and Osmotic Pressure

    Problem Set 2.2 Membrane Transport

    Chapter 2.8 Cell Signaling

    Chapter 2.9 ATP Production I: Glycolysis

    Chapter 2.10 ATP Production II: The TCA Cycle and Oxidative Phosphorylation

    Chapter 2.11 ATP Production III: Fatty Acid Oxidation and Amino Acid Oxidation

    Unit 3 Physiology of Excitable Cells

    Chapter 3.1 The Origin of the Resting Membrane Potential

    Chapter 3.2 The Action Potential

    Chapter 3.3 Propagation of the Action Potential

    Problem Set 3.1 Membrane Potential, Action Potential, and Nerve Conduction

    Chapter 3.4 Skeletal Muscle Mechanics

    Chapter 3.5 Contractile Mechanisms in Skeletal Muscle

    Chapter 3.6 The Neuromuscular Junction and Excitation-Contraction Coupling

    Chapter 3.7 Muscle Energetics, Fatigue, and Training

    Problem Set 3.2 Neuromuscular Transmission, Muscle Force, and Energetics

    Chapter 3.8 Smooth Muscle

    Unit 4 The Nervous System

    Chapter 4.1 Organization of the Nervous System

    Chapter 4.2 Cells, Synapses, and Neurotransmitters

    Chapter 4.3 Cutaneous Sensory Systems

    Chapter 4.4 Spinal Reflexes

    Chapter 4.5 Balance and Control of Movement

    Problem Set 4.1 Nerve Conduction

    Chapter 4.6 The Chemical Senses

    Chapter 4.7 Hearing

    Chapter 4.8 Vision

    Problem Set 4.2 Sensory Transduction

    Chapter 4.9 Autonomic Nervous System

    Unit 5 The Cardiovascular System

    Chapter 5.1 Overview of the Cardiovascular System and the Blood

    Chapter 5.2 Plasma and Red Blood Cells

    Chapter 5.3 White Blood Cells and Inflammation

    Chapter 5.4 The Heart as a Pump

    Problem Set 5.1 Blood

    Chapter 5.5 The Cardiac Action Potential

    Chapter 5.6 The Electrocardiogram

    Chapter 5.7 The Cellular Basis of Cardiac Contractility

    Chapter 5.8 The Cardiac Function Curve

    Problem Set 5.2 Cardiac Work

    Chapter 5.9 Vascular Function: Hemodynamics

    Chapter 5.10 The Microcirculation and Solute Exchange

    Chapter 5.11 Regulation of Perfusion

    Chapter 5.12 Integration of Cardiac Output and Venous Return

    Chapter 5.13 Regulation of Arterial Pressure

    Problem Set 5.3 Hemodynamics and Microcirculation

    Unit 6 Respiratory Physiology

    Chapter 6.1 The Mechanics of Breathing

    Chapter 6.2 Lung Volumes and Airway Resistance

    Chapter 6.3 Gas Exchange in the Lungs

    Problem Set 6.1 Airway Resistance and Alveolar Gas Exchange

    Chapter 6.4 Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide Transport

    Chapter 6.5 Acid-Base Physiology I: The Bicarbonate Buffer System and Respiratory Compensation

    Chapter 6.6 Control of Ventilation

    Problem Set 6.2 Gas Transport and pH Disturbances

    Unit 7 Renal Physiology

    Chapter 7.1 Body Fluid Compartments

    Chapter 7.2 Functional Anatomy of the Kidneys and Overview of Kidney Function

    Chapter 7.3 Glomerular Filtration

    Problem Set 7.1 Fluid Volumes, Glomerular Filtration, and Clearance

    Chapter 7.4 Tubular Reabsorption and Secretion

    Chapter 7.5 Mechanism of Concentration and Dilution of Urine

    Chapter 7.6 Regulation of Fluid and Electrolyte Balance

    Chapter 7.7 Renal Component of Acid-Base Balance

    Problem Set 7.2 Fluid and Electrolyte Balance and Acid-Base Balance

    Unit 8 Gastrointestinal Physiology

    Chapter 8.1 Mouth and Esophagus

    Chapter 8.2 The Stomach

    Chapter 8.3 Intestinal and Colonic Motility

    Chapter 8.4 Pancreatic and Biliary Secretion

    Chapter 8.5 Digestion and Absorption of the Macronutrients

    Chapter 8.6 Energy Balance and Regulation of Food Intake

    Problem Set 8.1 Energy Balance

    Unit 9 Endocrine Physiology

    Chapter 9.1 General Principles of Endocrinology

    Chapter 9.2 Hypothalamus and Pituitary Gland

    Chapter 9.3 The Thyroid Gland

    Chapter 9.4 The Endocrine Pancreas and Control of Blood Glucose

    Chapter 9.5 The Adrenal Cortex

    Chapter 9.6 The Adrenal Medulla and Integration of Metabolic Control

    Chapter 9.7 Calcium and Phosphorus Homeostasis I: The Calcitropic Hormones

    Chapter 9.8 Calcium and Phosphorus Homeostasis II: Target Tissues and Integrated Control

    Chapter 9.9 Female Reproductive Physiology

    Chapter 9.10 Male Reproductive Physiology

    Problem Set 9.1 Ligand Binding

    Appendix I Important Equations

    Appendix II Important Physical Constants for Physiology



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