The Cardiovascular System — Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology

  • J. D. Humphrey
  • A. D. McCulloch
Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 441)


Biomechanics aims to explain the mechanics of life and living. From molecules to organisms, everything must obey the laws of mechanics — Y.C. Fung. The primary function of the cardiovascular system is mass transport, that is, the transport of oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients, waste products, hormones, etc., within the body. This system consists primarily of the heart, which serves as the pump, the blood, which serves as the conducting medium, and the vasculature, which serves as the conduit through which the blood flows. Closely related systems are the cardio-pulmonary and reno-vascular systems. The primary organs of the pulmonary system are the lungs, which facilitate the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the blood and external environment, whereas the primary organs of the renal system are the kidneys, which serve as filters to remove waste products from the blood. Although studying the pulmonary and renal systems is important, interesting, and challenging, we shall focus on the heart and vasculature in this chapter. Moreover, within the vasculature there are numerous ‘special’ circulations, including the cerebral, coronary, pulmonary, and fetal. Our emphasis will be on general characteristics of the vasculature and heart, however.


Arterial Wall Left Anterior Descend Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Concentration Of02 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. D. Humphrey
    • 1
  • A. D. McCulloch
    • 2
  1. 1.Biomedical EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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