Biomechanics pp 139-173 | Cite as

The Rheology of Blood in Microvessels

  • Y. C. Fung


The concept of viscosity has been discussed in Chapters 2 and 3. We have shown that the viscosity of whole blood is non-Newtonian. But the discussion so far has considered blood as a homogeneous fluid. We know, of course, that blood is not homogeneous: it is normally a concentrated mixture with almost half its volume occupied by suspended red blood cells. There are occasions when it is useful to consider blood as a homogeneous fluid, and there are other occasions when it is necessary to consider red blood cells as acting individually. For example, in studying the pulse waves in arteries whose diameters are many times larger than the red cell diameter, we can treat blood as a homogeneous fluid. On the other hand, in studying the flow of blood in capillary blood vessels whose diameters are about the same as the diameter of the red cells, we have to consider blood as a suspension.


Apparent Viscosity Tube Diameter Relative Viscosity Entry Section Silicone Fluid 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. C. Fung
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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