In c.1885, Auguste Chauveau, while working on glycogenolysis, i.e. production of glucose from the phosphorolysis of glycogen, demonstrated that the consumption of glucose mainly took place in the muscle and not in the lungs, as Claude Bernard argued earlier. In 1886, Chauveau began studying the energetics of organisms, aka "animal heat" as it was then called, following the example of Marcellin Berthelot and Andre Mayer, he defined the concepts of "physiological work", distinguished "interior work" and “outside work”. In 1890s, Auguste Chauveau was doing research on the relation between glycose (glycogen), derived from food transforms into physiological work of the muscles, with respect to the mechanical equivalent of heat.
In 1897, Chauveau, had introduced the term “biological thermodynamics” (French: thermodynamique biologique), in two papers on “Biological Thermodynamics”, which discussed on the “internal work” in muscles. The following, e.g. is a summary of Ferdinand Laulanie's 1898 book Muscular Energetics (Energétique musculaire), which says that the the earliest principles of biological thermodynamics arose from muscle energetic theories of Chauveau:
|La troisième partie, consacrée à la thermodynamique musculaire est, pour M. Laulanié, l'occasion d'exposer les véritables principes de la thermodynamique biologique, tels qu'ils se dégagent des travaux de M. Chauveau. Les tentatives faites pour retrouver l'équivalence mécanique de la chaleur chez les moteurs animés sont très heureusement exposées, ainsi que les causes qui ont amené l'échec de ces tentatives,||The third part, devoted to muscular thermodynamics, is, for M. Laulanié, the opportunity to expose the true principles of biological thermodynamics, as they emerge from the work of M. Chauveau. The attempts made to find the mechanical equivalence of heat in animated motors are very fortunately exposed, as well as the causes which led to the failure of these attempts,|
In 1925, Alfred Lotka, in his "Regarding Definitions" chapter, of his Elements of Physical Biology, stated that it is impossible to define "biological", thermodynamically; or, if one tries, the result will be scientific jabberwocky.
In 2019, Thims gave the replacement PCN-definition, of "biological thermodynamics", as the "thermodynamical study of powered chnopsological things".
- Hayne, Donald. (2001). Biological Thermodynamics (pdf). Cambridge, 2008.
- Dutta, Abhijit; Chattopadhyaya, Himadri. (2021). “A Brief History of Biological Thermodynamics for Human Physiology” (abs), Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 143(7):12-pages, Jul.
- Biological thermodynamics – Hmolpedia 2020.