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Circulatory Systems II

Physics of Circulatory Systems

Fluids flow down pressure gradients

Law of bulk flow:

Q = P / R

Q = Flow (Rate) P = pressure gradient R = resistance

Flow rate = volume of fluid that moves

past a given point per unit time (L/min)

Radius & Resistance

Poiseuilles Equation:
Q = P r4 / 8 L

Resistance is inversely proportional to

radius to the forth power.

Small changes in radius result in

large changes in resistance.

Controlling Flow



Small changes in r result in large

changes in resistance and flow.

Total Flow

Law of conservation of mass:

The flow through each segment of the
circulatory system must be equal.

Total flow is constant across all parts of

the circulatory system.

Total Flow

Total Flow

Series :
RT = R1 + R2 + R3

Parallel :
1/RT = 1/R1 + 1/R2 +1/R3

Circulatory systems have both series and

parallel arrangements of blood vessels.

Total Flow

Velocity of Flow

Velocity of blood flow in a given blood

vessel is inversely related to the crosssectional area of the blood vessel.

Blood velocity = Q/A

A= summed cross-sectional
area of channels.

Velocity of Flow

Regions of the circulatory system

that are involved in the exchange of
materials have very high total crosssectional areas, so they have very
low velocities, which aids diffusion.

Pressure & Blood Vessels

Pressure within walled chambers exerts a

force on those walls.

Blood pressure within walled chambers

(heart or blood vessels) exerts a force.

Force can be quantified using the

law of LaPlace.

Pressure & Blood Vessels

Law of LaPlace:

T = aPr

Pressure & Blood Vessels

Taking into account wall thickness:

= Pr/w


stress on wall

Pressure & Blood Vessels

Organisms are reasonably build

As thickness increases, stress in the wall

decreases, therefore:
BVs such as the aorta, which must withstand
very high pressures, are thicker and stronger.
Arterioles which are subject to lower
pressure are thinner.

Circulatory Systems

Vertebrate circulatory systems contain

one or more pumps in a series:

Single-Circuit Circulatory System:

Water breathing fish

Double-Circuit Circulatory System:

Mammals and birds

Single-Circuit Circulatory Systems

Water breathing fish

Single-Circuit Circulatory Systems

Single-Circuit Circulatory Systems

Double-Circuit Circulatory Systems

amphibians, reptiles, birds, & mammals

Double-Circuit Circulatory Systems

Systemic system:
Oxygenated blood from heart to tissues.
Deoxygenated blood from tissues to heart.

Pulmonary system:
Deoxygenated blood from heart into lungs
Oxygenated blood from lungs back to heart

Double-Circuit Circulatory Systems

Mammals & Birds:

Completely separated pulmonary & systemic

Amphibians & Most Reptiles

Incompletely separated pulmonary & systemic

Different advantages for both

Double-Circuit Circulatory Systems

Vertebrate Hearts

Main Function:
Pump blood throughout body

Complex walls with 4 main parts:




Compact Myocardium
Tightly packed cells arranged in a regular

Spongy Myocardium
Meshwork of loosely connected cells.
Not vascularized
Often arranged into trabeculae

Fish Hearts

4 chambers arranged in series

Bony Fish:
Bulbous Arteriosus

Conus Arteriousus

Heart rate in fish is temperature dependent

Antarctic cod swim in 0-3C water

Have antifreeze protein in their blood
Have a low heart rate
Stroke volume 6-15x predicted for their size

Typical fish heart = 0.2% body mass

Atlantic cod heart = 0.6% body mass

Amphibian Hearts

3 chambered heart

2 atria supply blood to a single ventricle

Mixing of oxygenated & deoxygenated blood

Spiral fold helps direct oxygenated &

deoxygenated blood to correct systems

Amphibian Hearts

Amphibian Hearts

Reptile Hearts (non-crocodilian)

Most reptiles (non-crocodilian) have 5

chambered hearts:

2 Atria

Single ventricle divided (by septa) into 3

interconnected compartments:
1. Cavum venosum
2. Cavum pulomnale
3. Cavum arteriosum

Reptile Hearts (non-crocodilian)

Reptile Hearts (non-crocodilian)

R-L shunt =
direct blood to
systemic system

L-R shunt =
direct blood to
pulmonary system

Reptile Hearts (crocodilian)

Crocodilian reptiles:
crocs, alligators, & caimen

Completely divided ventricles:

4 chambered heart

Pulmonary and systemic circuits are still

connected and can shunt blood between

Reptile Hearts (crocodilian)

Foramen of Panizza: small opening

located at the base of aortas

Allows for R-L shunt:

bypass pulmonary system

Allows them to remain submerged for

several hours without perfusing their lungs.

Reptile Hearts (crocodilian)

Reptile Hearts (crocodilian)