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Table 1 Comparison between physical and cellular phase transitions

From: Cancer as a dynamical phase transition

Physical Properties Cellular Properties
Thermodynamic equilibrium Far from thermodynamic equilibrium
Static equilibrium state Dynamic attractor state
Change of state (static) Change of state (dynamical)
Spatial organization (order) Functional organization
Response functions: susceptibilities Response functions: sensitivities
Stability against perturbations Robustness against fluxes
Criticality: emergence of multistability Criticality: emergence of new dynamical state; two static states
Control parameters: temperature, pressure Control parameters: temperature, pH, [O2], [carcinogen]
Order parameters: density, magnetization Order parameters: rate of cell division, morphological change (level of roundedness), relative rate of glycolysis versus oxidative phosphorylation