Examines the relative importance of convection and diffusion in blood plasma in transporting oxygen into the red blood cells. The bolus flow model of Prothero and Burton is questioned. The role of convection in the mass transfer process is expressed by the Peclet number, UL/D, where U is the velocity of the red cells, L is the distance between them, and D the diffusion coefficient. Convection will play a significant role only when the Peclet number is 10 or higher. That can occur in capillary flows only with material of high molecular weight, such as protein, that diffuses very slowly. For oxygen and other dissolved gases, therefore, diffusion is the dominant mechanism of oxygen transfer. 9 pp. Ref.
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