Convection and Diffusion in the Microcirculation

by Jerry Aroesty, Joseph Francis Gross

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback55 pages $15.00 $12.00 20% Web Discount

A study using the ideas and analytical techniques of fluid mechanics to investigate the role of plasma motion in the transport of species between erythrocytes and surrounding tissue in rather narrow capillaries. It has been widely believed that the plasma circulatory motion in the region between the red blood cells and capillary wall is sufficiently vigorous to augment the low rates of species transport by diffusion alone. This study makes a detailed theoretical and numerical examination of the bolus model of capillary flow. It shows that for this highly idealized situation, the convective motions of the plasma and the enhanced mixing due to these motions do not appreciably augment diffusional species-transport rates for dissolved gases. The results of the equations of motion and the equations of species transport indicate that plasma mixing is important only in the transfer of materials such as macromolecules, which may diffuse more slowly than dissolved gases.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

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.