Application of control theory to endocrine regulation and control
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- Stear, E.B. Ann Biomed Eng (1975) 3: 439. doi:10.1007/BF02409328
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This paper considers some aspects of the application of control theory to endocrine regulation and control. Consideration is given to both the structural and functional aspects of various control concepts and ideas in this context. For single-input, single-output feedback control structures, emphasis is placed on loop gain and its importance in establishing the functional capability of such structures. Examples are given of both functional and nonfunctional feedback structures proposed by endocrinologists. For multi-input, multi-output structures, emphasis is placed on the concept of input and output decoupling, and the possible applicability of these concepts to hormonal control system interrelationships is illustrated. Finally, the possible application of optimal control theory to endocrine regulation and control is illustrated by means of a naive and highly simplified example involving control of the thyroid gland by the pituitary gland, and several surprising and interesting implications are shown to be implicit in the resulting control structure.