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A Closer Look at Blood

Chapter 12 Section 2
 When blood leaves the heart,
it travels through arteries
 Every organ receives blood
from arteries that branch
off of the aorta
 The first branches off the
aorta are the coronary
arteries, which carry blood
to the heart itself

Artery Structure
 Walls of the artery are very thick, consisting of
3 layers
 Innermost layer of the artery is smooth, made
up of epithelial tissue
 Smooth surface allows blood to flow freely
 Middle layer of the artery consists mostly of
 Outer layer of the artery is made of flexible
connective tissue
 Artery structure gives arteries strength and
 The pulse is caused by the alternating
expansion and relaxation of the artery wall
 When the heart’s ventricles contract, they
send a spurt of blood out through all the
arteries in the body
 This spurt travels through the arteries and
pushes the artery walls to expand
 Once the spurt passes, the artery walls relax
and narrow again
Regulating Blood Flow
 Muscles in the middle wall of an artery are
involuntary muscles which contract
 When these arteries contract, the opening
narrows in the artery
 When the arteries relax, the opening becomes
 These muscles control the amount of blood
sent to different organs
 More blood is sent to organs that are needed
 Blood flows from the smallest arteries into the tiny capillaries
 Materials are exchanged between the blood and the body’s
cells in the capillaries
 Capillary walls are only one cell thick, allowing materials to
pass easily through them
 Oxygen and glucose pass through the capillaries
 Cellular waste products travel in the opposite direction; from
cells, through the capillary walls, into the blood
 Materials are exchanged between the blood and the cells by
 Diffusion- process by which molecules move from an area in
which they are highly concentrated to an area in which they
are less concentrated
 Blood moves from the capillaries into the veins
 Veins carry blood back to the heart
 Veins have 3 layers, with a muscular middle layer
 Veins are thinner than arteries
 Many veins are located near skeletal muscles;
muscle contractions help to push blood through
the veins
 Larger veins have valves to prevent blood from
flowing backward
 Breathing movements exert a squeezing pressure
against veins in the chest to push blood toward
the heart
Blood Pressure
 What Causes BP?  Measuring BP

 Blood pressure-  Sphygmomanometer

measures BP
pressure exerted  BP is measured in 2
against the walls of numbers
the blood vessels  1st number is a
measurement of the BP
caused by the force while the left ventricle
with which the contracts and pumps
blood into the aorta
ventricles contract  2nd number measures the
 As blood moves BP while the ventricle
relaxes between
further away from heartbeats
the heart, BP  Healthy BP is 120/80
 Contrast the functions of arteries, capillaries, and

 What causes blood pressure?

 Explain the factors that enable blood in your leg

veins to return to the heart in spite of the
downward pull of gravity.

 Arteries adjust the amount of blood flowing to

different parts of the body, depending on where
blood is needed. Use this fact to explain why it
may not be a good idea to exercise vigorously
shortly after you eat.