Blood Vessels

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  • Created by: chxrwest
  • Created on: 14-01-16 10:26

Components in Blood Vessels

Elastic fibres - can stretch and recoil providing vessel walls with flexibility.

Smooth muscle - contracts or relaxes able to change the size of the lumen.

Collagen - provides structural support to maintain the shape and volume of the vessel.

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Arteries and Arterioles

Carry blood away from the heart.

  • carry oxygenated blood.
  • walls contain elastic fibres, smooth muscle and collagen.
  • arterioles have more smooth muscle and less elastin.
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Capillaries

Link the arterioles and venules.

  • small lumen.
  • substances are exchanged through the capillary wall.
  • provide a very large surface area for diffusion.
  • total area of capillaries is larger so the rate of blood flow falls, giving more time for exchange.
  • very thin wall, one endothelial cell thick.
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Veins and Venules

Carry blood away from the heart.

  • carry deoxygenated blood.
  • no pulse.
  • low blood pressure.
  • one-way valves to prevent back flow.
  • walls contain lots of collagen.
  • wide lumen.
  • smooth, thin lining.
  • many of the bigger veins run between big,active muscles so when they contract they squeeze the vein, forcing blood twoards the heart.
  • breathing movements of chest act as a pump.
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