Blood vessels

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  • Blood Vessels
    • Arteries
      • Carry blood from heart to body
      • Walls thick/muscular- control flow of blood, resist pressure changes
      • Walls have elastic tissue to stretch/recoil as heart beats- helps maintain high pressure
      • Inner lining (endothelium) folded, allows artery to stretch, maintains high pressure, allows diffusion
      • All arteries carry oxygenated blood except pulmonary, takes deoxygenated blood to lungs
    • Aterioles
      • Divisions of arteries
      • Form network throughout body
      • Blood directed to different areas of demand by muscles inside arterioles
      • Muscles contract to restrict blood flow/relax to allow full blood flow
    • Veins
      • Take blood back to heart under low pressure
      • Wider lumen
      • Little elastic/muscle tissue
      • Contain valves to stop backflow
      • Blood flow helped by contraction of body muscles surrounding veins
      • All veins carry deoxygenated blood except pulmonary, carry oxygenated blood from heart to lungs
    • Capillaries
      • Smallest of blood vessels
      • Found very near cells in exchange tissues- short diffusion pathway
      • Walls one cell thick- short diffusion pathway
      • Large number of them- increases exchange surface area
      • Network of capillaries: 'capillary bed'

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