Given: Capillaries are where the magic of gas diffusion happens. Capillaries are approximately 5-10 µm in diameter.  Let’s pick an average value of 7.5 µm. A normal value of the diameter of an aortic artery is 15 mm.a. How many capillaries would it take to have the same cross-sectional area as a single aortic artery?b. Assuming constant fluid flow through a single aortic artery and a capillary network with the same cross-sectional area, how will the resistance to flow compare to both? (Answer a and b)

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Asked Nov 11, 2019
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Given: Capillaries are where the magic of gas diffusion happens. Capillaries are approximately 5-10 µm in diameter.  Let’s pick an average value of 7.5 µm. A normal value of the diameter of an aortic artery is 15 mm.

a. How many capillaries would it take to have the same cross-sectional area as a single aortic artery?

b. Assuming constant fluid flow through a single aortic artery and a capillary network with the same cross-sectional area, how will the resistance to flow compare to both? 

(Answer a and b) 
 

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Expert Answer

Step 1

The smallest unit of the blood vessels that convey blood between arteries and veins are known as capillaries. These micro vessels are also involved in the exchange of gases like oxygen, glucose, uric acid, creatinine with the interstitial fluid. They are made up of endothelial cell and have a diameter of about 5 to 10 micrometers (µm). Aorta is the largest artery of the body that carries oxygenated blood from the heart to all the parts of the body.

Step 2

a.

It is given that the average diameter of the capillaries is 7.5 µm and the average diameter of the aortic artery is 15mm. One millimeter includes 1000 micrometers:

 

1mm=1000µm.

Therefore, 15mm = 15000µm.

 

The diameter of a single capillary is 7.5µm...

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