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Oscillations in Microvascular Bloodflow


John B. Geddes
F. W. Olin College of Engineering

November 1, 2007
5:00 pm
Bailey Hall 201

Refreshments will be served at 4:45 in Bailey 204


The cardiovascular system consists of a central pump (usually known as the heart) and a system of blood vessels through which blood is continuously circulated. As the smallest blood vessels, the capillaries play a pivotal role in mass exchange between the blood and the tissues. Recent experimental observations and numerical simulations suggest that key blood flow variables such as blood pressure, blood flow velocity, and hematocrit can spontaneously oscillate in the absence of any biological control. In this seminar, I will discuss a recently proposed mathematical model of blood flow in a microvascular network. I will review the major ingredients of this model, including the Fahraeus-Lindqvist effect and the plasma skimming effect. I will then analyze the model in the context of a simple network consisting of four vessels and two nodes. I will focus my attention on exploring the mathematics associated with this project. In order to do so effectively, I would like the audience to consider the following question: do solutions exist to the equation x = exp(-x), and if so how many solutions are there?

For additional information, send e-mail to math@union.edu or call (518) 388-6246.
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