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Velocity of Blood Flow

Earlier we saw that blood flow is the volume of blood that flows through any tissue in a given time period (in mL/min). The speed or velocity of blood flow (in cm/sec) is inversely related to the cross-sectional area. Velocity is slowest where the total cross-sectional area is greatest (Figure 21.11). Each time an artery branches, the total cross-sectional area of all of its branches is greater than the cross-sectional area of the original vessel, so blood flow becomes slower and slower as blood moves further away from the heart, and is slowest in the capillaries. Conversely, when venules unite to form veins, the total cross-sectional area becomes smaller and flow becomes faster. In an adult, the cross-sectional area of the aorta is only 3–5 cm2, and the average velocity of the blood there is 40 cm/sec. In capillaries, the total cross-sectional area is 4500–6000 cm2, and the velocity of blood flow is less than 0.1 cm/sec. In the two venae cavae combined, the cross-sectional area is about 14 cm2, and the velocity is about 15 cm/sec. Thus, the velocity of blood flow decreases as blood flows from the aorta to arteries to arterioles to capillaries, and increases as it leaves capillaries and returns to the heart. The relatively slow rate of flow through capillaries aids the exchange of materials between blood and interstitial fluid.

Read and write about it in your own words (91 words) above

Below are two question read and answer in your own words

3D response to this question use( 91 words)
1.. Why are capillaries important?

1. Capillaries. . The mission of the entire cardiovascular system is to keep blood flowing through capillaries to allow capillary exchange, the movement of substances between blood and interstitial fluid. The 7% of the blood in systemic capillaries at any given time is continually exchanging materials with interstitial fluid. Substances enter and leave capillaries by three basic mechanisms: diffusion, transcytosis, and bulk flow.

The most important method of capillary exchange is simple diffusion. Many substances, such as oxygen (O2), carbon dioxide (CO2), glucose, amino acids, and hormones, enter and leave capillaries by simple diffusion. Because O2 and nutrients normally are present in higher concentrations in blood, they diffuse down their concentration gradients into interstitial fluid and then into body cells. CO2 and other wastes released by body cells are present in higher concentrations in interstitial fluid, so they diffuse into blood
A small quantity of material crosses capillary walls by transcytosis (tranz′-sī-TŌ-sis; trans- = across; -cyt- = cell; -osis = process). In this process, substances in blood plasma become enclosed within tiny pinocytic vesicles that first enter endothelial cells by endocytosis, then move across the cell and exit on the other side by exocytosis. This method of transport is important mainly for large, lipid-insoluble molecules that cannot cross capillary walls in any other way. For example, the hormone insulin (a small protein) enters the
Bulk flow is a passive process in which large numbers of ions, molecules, or particles in a fluid move together in the same direction. The substances move at rates far greater than can be accounted for by diffusion alone. Bulk flow occurs from an area of higher pressure to an area of lower pressure, and it continues as long as a pressure difference exists. Diffusion is more important for solute exchange between blood and interstitial fluid, but bulk flow is more important for regulation of the relative volumes of blood and interstitial fluid. Pressure-driven movement of fluid and solutes from blood capillaries into interstitial fluid is called filtration. Pressure-driven movement from interstitial fluid into blood capillaries is called reabsorption.

2. Name and describe one factor that can restrict blood flow. Respond with 91 words

Vascular Resistance
As noted earlier, vascular resistance is the opposition to blood flow due to friction between blood and the walls of blood vessels. Vascular resistance depends on (1) size of the blood vessel lumen, (2) blood viscosity, and (3) total blood vessel length.
• 1. Size of the lumen. The smaller the lumen of a blood vessel, the greater its resistance to blood flow. Resistance is inversely proportional to the fourth power of the diameter (d) of the blood vessel’s lumen (R ∝ 1/d4). The smaller the diameter of the blood vessel, the greater the resistance it offers to blood flow. For example, if the diameter of a blood vessel decreases by one-half, its resistance to blood flow increases 16 times. Vasoconstriction narrows the lumen, and vasodilation widens it. Normally, moment-to-moment fluctuations in blood flow through a given tissue are due to vasoconstriction and vasodilation of the tissue’s arterioles. As arterioles dilate, resistance decreases, and blood pressure falls. As arterioles constrict, resistance increases, and blood pressure rises.
• 2. Blood viscosity. The viscosity (vis-KOS-i-tē = thickness) of blood depends mostly on the ratio of red blood cells to plasma (fluid) volume, and to a smaller extent on the concentration of proteins in plasma. The higher the blood’s viscosity, the higher the resistance. Any condition that increases the viscosity of blood, such as dehydration or polycythemia (an unusually high number of red blood cells), thus increases blood pressure. A depletion of plasma proteins or red blood cells, due to anemia or hemorrhage, decreases viscosity and thus decreases blood pressure.
• 3. Total blood vessel length. Resistance to blood flow through a vessel is directly proportional to the length of the blood vessel. The longer a blood vessel, the greater the resistance. Obese people often have hypertension (elevated blood pressure) because the additional blood vessels in their adipose tissue increase their total blood vessel length. An estimated 650 km (about 400 miles) of additional blood vessels develop for each extra kilogram (2.2 lb) of fat.
Systemic vascular resistance (SVR), also known as total peripheral resistance (TPR), refers to all of the vascular resistances offered by systemic blood vessels. The diameters of arteries and veins are large, so their resistance is very small because most of the blood does not come into physical contact with the walls of the blood vessel. The smallest vessels—arterioles, capillaries, and venules—contribute the most resistance. A major function of arterioles is to control SVR—and therefore blood pressure and blood flow to particular tissues—by changing their diameters. Arterioles need to vasodilate or vasoconstrict only slightly to have a large effect on SVR. The main center for regulation of SVR is the vasomotor center in the brain stem (described shortly).

Questions to be answered below and reading above( use 91 words for each )
1. What are the primary differences between arteries and veins?
2. Why are capillaries important?
3. Name and describe one factor that can restrict blood flow. Respond with 91 words

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