Blood Vessels & their functions

Structure related to function(SRF) for the blood vessels

HideShow resource information

Structure of blood vessels

Arteries carry blood away from the heart,

arterioles control blood flow from arteries to capillaries,

capillaries link arterioles to veins,

veins carry blood back to the heart,


Tough outer layer- resists pressure changes,   muscle layer-contracts and controls blood flow,   elastic layer-helps to maintain blood pressure by stretching and springing back,   thin inner endothelium-smooth toprevent friction and thin to allow diffusion.

1 of 5

SRF of arteries

  • Thick muscle layer- smaller arteries can be constricted and dilated to control the volume of blood passing through them
  • Thick elastic layer- to keep the blood pressure high-stretching and recoiling helps to maintain high pressures
  • Thick wall-resist the vessel bursting under pressure
  • No valves- blood is under high pressure therefore does not flow backwards.
2 of 5

SRF of arterioles

  • Thick muscle- contraction of muscle allows constriction of lumen which restricts the flow of blood
  • Thin elastic layer- blood pressure is lower


3 of 5

SRF of veins

  • Thin muscle layer- veins carry blood away from tissues so their constriction and dilation cannot control the flow of blood to the tissues
  • Thin elastic layer- low pressure within veins does not cause them to burst, pressure too low to create recoil action
  • Thickness of wall is small- pressure within veins is low to create risk of bursting, allows them to be flattened easily aiding the flow of blood
  • valves- ensure blood doesnt flow backwards
4 of 5

SRF of capillaries

  • Walls consist of only the lining layer- makes them thin-short diffusion distance-allows rapid diffusion of material between blood and cells
  • Numerous & highly branched- providing large SA
  • Narrow lumen- brings them closer to the cells to which they supply oxygen- reduces diffusion distance
  • Spaces between endothelial cells- allow white blood cells to escape to deal with infections
5 of 5


No comments have yet been made

Similar Biology resources:

See all Biology resources »See all Biological molecules, organic chemistry and biochemistry resources »