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On Maximum Entropy and Inference
Open AccessArticle

Is an Entropy-Based Approach Suitable for an Understanding of the Metabolic Pathways of Fermentation and Respiration?

by Roberto Zivieri 1,2,* and Nicola Pacini 3,4
1
Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, University of Ferrara, 44122 Ferrara, Italy
2
Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Physical Sciences and Earth Sciences, University of Messina, 98166 Messina, Italy
3
Laboratory of Biochemistry F. Pacini, 89100 Reggio Calabria, Italy
4
Department of General Surgery and Senology, University Hospital Company, 95124 Catania, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Entropy 2017, 19(12), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/e19120662
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entropy and Its Applications across Disciplines)
Lactic fermentation and respiration are important metabolic pathways on which life is based. Here, the rate of entropy in a cell associated to fermentation and respiration processes in glucose catabolism of living systems is calculated. This is done for both internal and external heat and matter transport according to a thermodynamic approach based on Prigogine’s formalism. It is shown that the rate of entropy associated to irreversible reactions in fermentation processes is higher than the corresponding one in respiration processes. Instead, this behaviour is reversed for diffusion of chemical species and for heat exchanges. The ratio between the rates of entropy associated to the two metabolic pathways has a space and time dependence for diffusion of chemical species and is invariant for heat and irreversible reactions. In both fermentation and respiration processes studied separately, the total entropy rate tends towards a minimum value fulfilling Prigogine’s minimum dissipation principle and is in accordance with the second principle of thermodynamics. The applications of these results could be important for cancer detection and therapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: entropy; rate of entropy; lactic fermentation; respiration; glucose catabolism; irreversible reactions; Warburg effect entropy; rate of entropy; lactic fermentation; respiration; glucose catabolism; irreversible reactions; Warburg effect
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Zivieri, R.; Pacini, N. Is an Entropy-Based Approach Suitable for an Understanding of the Metabolic Pathways of Fermentation and Respiration? Entropy 2017, 19, 662.

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