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Santorio, Santorio (1561-1636).

De medicina statica libri octo.

Romae : Typis Bernab, 1704.

"Through most of the 17th and 18th centuries Santorio's name was linked with that of Harvey as the greatest figure in physiology and experimental medicine because of his introduction of precision instruments for quantitative studies. He was also the founder of metabolic research" (Morton).

"In a letter to Galileo he (Santorio) explained that his work De medicina was based on two principles: first, Hippocrates' view that medicine is essentially the addition of what is lacking and the removal of what is superfluous; and second, experimentation. The origin of "static medicine" was, in fact, the Hippocratic conception that health consists in the harmony of the humors. One expression of this harmony is the equilibrium between the substances consumed by the organism and those rejected by it. According to this view, pathological conditions should be accompanied by a quantitave disequilibrium of the exchanges between the living body and its surroundings. To verify this suppodition, Santorio turned to quantitative experimentation. With the aid of a chair scale, he systematically observed the daily variations in the weight of his body and showed that a large part of excretion takes place in the skin and lungs (perspiratio insensibilis). Moreover, he sought to determine the magnitude of this invisible excretion; its relationship to visible excretion; and its dependence on various factors, including the state of the atmosphere, diet, sleep, exercise, sexual activity, and age. Thus he invented instruments to measure ambient humidity and temperature. From this research he concluded that perspiration insensibilis, which had been known since Erasistratus but which was considered imponderable, could be determined by systematic weighing; that it is, in itself, greater than all forms of sensible bodily excretions combined; and that it is not constant but varies considerably as a function of several internal and external factors, for example, cold and sleep lessen it and fever increases it"
(Dictionary of Scientific Biography).

"Inventor of the clinical thermometer and Italian Physician. He graduated in medicine from Padua in 1582 and practiced in Poland from 1587 for 14 years. He was appointed professor of medicine at Padua in 1611, but resigned in 1629 and settled in Venice where he continued his scientific studies. He designed a balance to calculate the weight in relation to food intake, excretion, perspiration and breathing. His work, Ars de statica medicina, was published in 1614. It was probably the first treatise on metabolism and was translated into English by John Quincy in the 18th century. He also designed the earliest instrument to measure pulse rate, which he called puslilogium. It consisted of a lead weight attached to a long thread, the length of which could be adjusted according to the frequency of the pulse. He probably learnt the principle which is similar to that of a pendulum, from Galileo" (Dictionary of the History of Medicine, p. 648).

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