An Introduction to Medical Biophysics

by Parveen Parkash

Medical Biophysics deals with applications of physical ideas and concepts enshrined in mechanics, hydrostatics, hydrodynamics, optics, acoustics, electrodynamics and radiological physics to medical sciences. Some aspects of biophysics are indistinguishable from biochemistry, physiology, medical physics, nuclear medicine, biomedical engineering and biotechnology. Because of this overlapping medical biophysics means so many different things to so many different people. However, the subject has now crystallize out from a rather nebulous mass of ideas and practices and takes into account the key issues of medical sciences which have earlier not been duly addressed. Chapter 1 outlines the importance of physical forces namely osmotic pressure, surface tension and viscosity in medical sciences. Chapter 2 on pressure in fluids describes catheter transducer systems which are now being employed for recording dynamic pressure changes in human fluids and organs. Chapter 3 on muscle mechanics outlines how changes in the pitch of helix of actin and myosine molecules produce change in muscle length. The Chapter 4 on membranes integrates structure and transport mechanisms of membranes at different levels. Through Chapter 5 on Biopotentials an attempt has been made to analyse genesis, purpose and recording of various types of action potentials. Chapter 6 highlights importance of physical principles in understanding cardiovascular system. Chapter 7 gives information on X-ray tube and machine and discusses X-ray production and their properties. A Chapter 8 on radioisotopes gives much needed information on production, use and handling of radioisotopes and also discusses about the safe use of detectors for measuring different types of radiations. Chapter 9 describes physical principles and components of NMR imaging system. Chapter 10 describes various types of microscopes, their optical principles and use in medical sciences. Chapter 11 gives detailed information on units, bonds and forces of macromolecules.

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