Mass Transport Through the Walls of Arteries and Veins

  • M. John Lever

Abstract

In the microcirculation, the blood vessel wall is the major barrier which limits the transport of materials between the blood and tissues. Mass transport studies in the microcirculation are, therefore, primarily concerned with the mechanisms by which metabolites and catabolites are exchanged across the capillary wall. In contrast, in large vessels, there is more interest in the processes by which materials move into and out of the wall tissue itself. Somewhat paradoxically, the walls of large arteries are relatively avascular, having a slab of intimai and medial tissue which may be several hundred microns thick between the blood in the vessel lumen and that in the capillaries of the vasa vasorum. As thick walled vessels grow, angiogenesis occurs and capillaries penetrate the media from the adventitial side, but with increased thickening of the intima on ageing, the tissue may again become more avascular. For the tissue to undergo efficient metabolism, respiratory gases, nutrients and catabolites must be rapidly exchanged. In the field of large vessel mass transport though, the major interest has been in the movement of larger materials such as plasma proteins because of their putative role in atherosclerosis. Because this condition normally affects only arteries, transport processes in these vessels have been studied far more extensively than in veins or pulmonary vessels.

Keywords

Mass Transport Atherosclerotic Lesion Pulmonary Vessel Rabbit Aorta Wall Tissue 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. John Lever
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Biological & Medical SystemsImperial College of Science, Technology & MedicineLondonUK

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