Medical control systems
Agarwal, Gyan C. Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois.
Last reviewed:August 2020
- Control of voluntary movements
- Myoelectric prostheses
- Rehabilitation engineering
- Implantable pacemakers
- Implantable defibrillators
- Implantable pumps for drug delivery
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Physiological and artificial systems that control one or more physiological variables or functions of the human body. Regulation, control processes, and system stability are at the heart of the survival of living organisms, both unicellular and multicellular. In the nineteenth century, C. Bernard concluded that the higher animals, far from being indifferent to their surroundings, must be in close and intimate relation to them. The equilibrium they maintain is the result of compensation established as continually and exactly as if by a very sensitive balance. W. B. Cannon (1929) differentiated the stability properties of biological systems from those of physical systems, and introduced the term homeostasis to describe the steady states in the body that are maintained by complex, coordinated physiological reactions. The condition of homeostasis is achieved either by regulation of supplies (for example, control of blood sugar level) or by regulation of processes (for example, control of body temperature and control of voluntary movements). See also: Homeostasis
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