Non-equilibrium thermodynamics

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Summary:

I have been exploring nonequilibrium thermodynamics which is best seen in biological systems. I was wondering if it is possible to limit entropy production in these systems using a Carnot engine. If so, how would this engine operate?
Biological systems act as dissipative structures and obey the universal laws of thermodynamics in spite of being open structures as they follow non-equilibrium thermodynamics. In accordance with the second law, entropy generation occurs. Is it possible to limit the entropy generation in a biological system using an engine? A Carnot engine, for example, is supposed to make the entropy level constant. How would this engine operate if it could at all?
 

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  • #2
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"Is it possible to limit the entropy generation in a biological system using an engine?" Can you explain which "biological system" you are replacing? Can you reference a Carnot cycle engine that actually exists?
 
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  • #3
"Is it possible to limit the entropy generation in a biological system using an engine?" Can you explain which "biological system" you are replacing? Can you reference a Carnot cycle engine that actually exists?
Yes. I'm sorry if I may sound naive but it's only because my background is in biology. I only just started exploring physics. Cancer cells generally show a massive rise in entropy and are exergonic.
And I know Carnot engines don't exist practically. I'm only asking if it's possible in theory to use a bioengine that works along these same principles to turn entropy generation of this system constant
 
  • #4
"Is it possible to limit the entropy generation in a biological system using an engine?" Can you explain which "biological system" you are replacing? Can you reference a Carnot cycle engine that actually exists?
Do you mean to say that we'll have to replace the whole system with an engine? Does that mean replacing a complete tumor?
 
  • #5
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If we take out the tumor why are we replacing it?
 
  • #6
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Yes. I'm sorry if I may sound naive but it's only because my background is in biology. I only just started exploring physics. Cancer cells generally show a massive rise in entropy and are exergonic.
And I know Carnot engines don't exist practically. I'm only asking if it's possible in theory to use a bioengine that works along these same principles to turn entropy generation of this system constant
Still don't understand why one needs to control the entropy in a biological system. A tumor is a normal cell whose feedback mechanisms controlling growth are damaged. There are no new or different cell mechanisms. Tumors are often fast growing, and will probably be warmer due to metabolic activity. I have never seen cancer research refer to a tumor's "entropy". Antimetabolic drugs/radiation affects other fast growing cells like hair. Skin, and intestinal lining; as well as tumor cells. At first I thought you were looking to replace mitochondria to make cells more efficient. But you can't just couple a shaft like a physical engine, you would need to address the thousands of (but finite) chemical and DNA connections that cells have with mitochondria. Note the same less efficient energy pathways like glucose-6-phosphate shunt is used by red blood cells.
Yes. I'm sorry if I may sound naive but it's only because my background is in biology. I only just started exploring physics. Cancer cells generally show a massive rise in entropy and are exergonic.
And I know Carnot engines don't exist practically. I'm only asking if it's possible in theory to use a bioengine that works along these same principles to turn entropy generation of this system constant
My background was biochemistry. "Cancer cells generally show a massive rise in entropy and are exergonic." So cancer cells waste energy and give off heat. Both the heart and the brain use energy inefficiently and give off more heat than other cells at rest. And how/why "measure" entropy? Entropy can't be directly measured, but is derived from other thermodynamic measurements. Sounds like you think bringing a cancer cell's entropy down will stabilize a tumor? No. Cancer is due to damaged DNA.
 

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