Document Detail

Scaling laws for capillary vessels of mammals at rest and in exercise.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12713751     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A general derivation is presented for the scaling laws governing the size and number of capillary blood vessels in mammals. The derivation is based on the assumption of three idealized similarity principles known to apply, at least approximately, to resting mammals: (i) size-invariant blood pressure; (ii) size-invariant fraction of blood in the capillaries; and (iii) size-invariant oxygen consumption and uptake, per unit of body mass, during each heart cycle. Results indicate that the radius and length of capillaries, and the number that are open and active in the resting state, should scale with mammal mass to the powers 1/12, 5/24 and 5/8, respectively, consistent with earlier work by the author. Measurements are presented supporting the results. Physiological changes accompanying strenuous exercise are accounted for by a change in the scaling law for capillary number, from scaling exponent 5/8 to 3/4.
Thomas H Dawson
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  270     ISSN:  0962-8452     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2003 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-04-25     Completed Date:  2003-08-14     Revised Date:  2010-09-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  755-63     Citation Subset:  IM    
United States Naval Academy, 590 Holloway Road, Annapolis, MD 21402, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Blood Pressure
Capillaries / anatomy & histology*,  physiology*
Models, Biological
Oxygen Consumption
Physical Exertion / physiology*
Rest / physiology*

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