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The Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2008 September;52(3):278-88

Copyright © 2008 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

A review of basic principles of fractals and their application to pharmacokinetics

Marsh R. E. 1, Riauka T. A. 2, McQuarrie S. A. 3

1 Department of Physics, Faculty of Science University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada 2 Department of Oncology, Medical Physics Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada 3 Department of Oncology Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada


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Pharmacokinetic models play a crucial role in analyzing and assessing the results of in vitro and in vivo studies. In this review, comparative analysis of pharmacokinetic models under homogeneous and heterogeneous conditions is performed, placing special focus on the role of fractal theory. The concept of fractals provides a new perspective from which processes occurring in heterogeneous, confined, or poorly mixed environments can be modeled. Following a brief theoretical overview, the applicability of fractals in characterizing anatomical structures and physiological processes as well as the transport and reaction of drugs within the body is discussed. There is significant evidence that drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion are often anomalous, that is to say their behavior deviates from classical theory, and possible reasons and appropriate models are considered.

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