Parveen Parkash BSc (Hons) MSc(Hons) JD PhD Formerly Senior Lecturer, Biophysics Government Medical College, Chandigarh
Jitendar P Vij
Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd
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An Introduction to Medical Biophysics
© 1998, Parveen Parkash
All rights reserved. No part of this publication should be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means: electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author and the publisher.
This book has been published in good faith that the material provided by author is original. Every effort is made to ensure accuracy of material, but the publisher, printer and author will not be held responsible for any inadvertent error (s). In case of any dispute, all legal matters are to be settled under Delhi jurisdiction only.
First Edition: 1998
Typeset at JPBMP typesetting unit
Printed at Lordson Publishers (P) Ltd., C-5/19 RP Bagh, Delhi 110 007
my Wife Anita
my daughter Arushi
my son AbhisekPreface
This book primarily intends to provide medical students and physicians a readable introduction to the concept of biophysics rather than to make a biophysicists out of them. In medical field, biophysics entails different things to different people. But this book contains a subject matter which by and large has been accepted as an undisputed part of medical biophysics. Long back, AV Hill, a Noble Prize winner defined biophysics as: ‘the study of biological function, organization, and structure by physical and physicochemical ideas and methods’. By now the contents of biophysics have substantially crystallized and taken a definite form and shape. The contents profiled within the covers of this book are based on the recent recommendations of Medical Council of India and syllabi of Institute of Medical Colleges where biophysics is taught as a separate subject to the 1st year MBBS students. In this introductory book efforts have been made to make subject palatable for medical students by cutting down unnecessary derivations, equations and formulae as they often. Lead to more confusion than enlightenment. Math is used only where essential’ and priority is given to the development of intuitive understanding. The ideas developed in this book are illuminated and augmented by over one hundred and fifty self explanatory illustrations and tables. In addition, for the convenience of students every chapter has been divided into number of sections having appropriate titles and subtitles. It is hoped through this book students will gently and quickly grasp the essential features of this subject.
We are now entering into an academic era in which medical education is undergoing a drastic changes. Old curricula are being redesigned and new curricula are being formulated. But for the reasons unknown there is lot of reluctance and resistance for the acceptance of biophysics in medical curricula inspite of recommendations of Medical Council of India. Generally, clinicians feel that biophysics is full of hypothesis, formulae, and equations which have no direct applications in medical practice. On the other hand I believe, that the latest understanding of body functioning through the knowledge of biophysics and biochemistry illuminates medical practice and makes it less arbitrary and more exciting. Now biophysics has been included in the list of compulsory basic subjects whose evaluation is made during MD/MS entrance test at all India level. This book will provide essential material to these aspirants. Apart from this, students doing graduation in Human biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Nursing, Pharmacy and Medical technology etc. will also find this book useful. I am grateful to those colleagues whose stimulating discussion have clarified certain vague points to me. This has helped me a lot during the course of writing this book. Finally, I hope that the readers of this book will not hesitate to help me with their suggestions for improvements and corrections for the next edition.