Optimal Adaptation of the Metabolic Processes in the Cell

  • D. Detchev
  • S. Teodorova
Conference paper


In a thermodynamical description the cell can be treated as a highly non-equilibrium optimal self-controlling system. The natural functional according to which the cell optimizes itself is formulated in connection with the principle of self-maintenance of living structures. The maximum principle of PONTR JAGIN is used to determine the behavior as a non-classical variational problem. In order to describe the cell not only as a self-regulating but also as a self-adapting system a set of additional equations for the control parameters has to be derived. From the basic theorem of the maximum principle and from its connection with BELLMAN’s method of dynamic programming the conclusion can be drawn that the dissipation of free energy or the rate of entropy production are functions of the state and of the controlling parameters as well. The flow of energy used is maximized along the optimal trajectory. Describing the thermodynamical constants as a function also of the control points offers the possibility for non-statistical thermodynamic consideration.


Maximum Principle Optimal Trajectory Minimization Principle Thermodynamical Description Basic Theorem 
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  1. Detchev, G., Moskona, A.: In: Locker (Ed.): “Quantitative Biology of Metabolism”, p. 195, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer 1968.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Detchev
  • S. Teodorova

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