Europhys. Lett.
Volume 71, Number 3, August 2005
Page(s) 501 - 507
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 06 July 2005
Europhys. Lett., 71 (3), pp. 501-507 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10544-3

Dynamic model for failures in biological systems

J. Choi1, M. Y. Choi2, 3 and B.-G. Yoon4

1  Department of Physics, Keimyung University - Taegu 704-701, Korea
2  Department of Physics, Seoul National University - Seoul 151-747, Korea
3  Korea Institute for Advanced Study - Seoul 130-722, Korea
4  Department of Physics, University of Ulsan - Ulsan 680-749, Korea

received 24 November 2004; accepted in final form 31 May 2005
published online 6 July 2005

A dynamic model for failures in biological organisms is proposed and studied both analytically and numerically. Each cell in the organism becomes dead under sufficiently strong stress, and is then allowed to be healed with some probability. It is found that unlike the case of no healing, the organism in general does not completely break down even in the presence of noise. Revealed is the characteristic time evolution that the system tends to resist the stress longer than the system without healing, followed by sudden breakdown with some fraction of cells surviving. When the noise is weak, the critical stress beyond which the system breaks down increases rapidly as the healing parameter is raised from zero, indicative of the importance of healing in biological systems.

87.10.+e - General theory and mathematical aspects.
87.18.Bb - Computer simulation.
05.40.-a - Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion.

© EDP Sciences 2005