The Fluid Mechanics of Pulsatile Flow in the Microcirculation.

by Joseph Francis Gross, Jerry Aroesty


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback12 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Discusses pulsatile fluid flow in small blood vessels and presents a non-Newtonian model for pulsatile blood flow and a preliminary network model for a composite microcirculatory bed. Pulsatile flow in the microvessels is shown to be quasi-steady, a theoretical result that agrees with [in vitro] experiments in tubes under 100 microns diameter. A cell-deficient layer of plasma along the vessel wall appears to act as a lubricating layer increasing the flow rate; for a fixed blood yield stress, the role of the plasma layer decreases as the flow pressure gradient increases. A five-layer model of the microcirculation--small artery, arteriole, capillary, venule, small vein--gave results in general agreement with observation. Amplified to seven levels, with vasodilation and vasoconstriction, the network model was in qualitative agreement with results of [in vivo] experiments on rabbit omentum. (To appear in [Fluid Dynamics Transactions], Vol. 6, Part 2, 1972). 12 pp. Ref.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.