Physical Principles of Circulation

  • Y. C. Fung


Blood flow must obey the principles of conservation of mass, momentum, and energy. Applied to any given region of space, the principle of conservation of mass means that whatever flows in must flow out. If flow is confined to blood vessels, then we obtain a rule similar to Kirchhoff’s law of electric circuits: At any junction the summation of current flowing into a junction must be equal to the sum of the currents flowing out of that junction. In a single tube of variable cross section, a steady flow implies that the average local speed of flow is inversely proportional to the local cross-sectional area.


Reynolds Number Aortic Valve Mitral Valve Physical Principle Fluid Particle 
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  1. Most topics considered in this chapter are discussed in greater detail in the rest of this book. See the Index to locate References. Fundamental equations of fluid and solid mechanics are given in Fung (1993a and b). Basic concepts and equations for the description of finite deformation are presented in the companion volume Biomechanics: Motion, Flow, Stress and Growth (Fung, 1990, Springer Verlag). References mentioned in the text are the following:.Google Scholar
  2. Fåhraeus, R. (1975). Empty Arteries, Lecture delivered at the 15th International Congress of the History of Medicine, Madrid.Google Scholar
  3. Fung, Y.C. (1993a). A First Course in Continuum Mechanics for Physical and Biological Engineers and Scientists. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.Google Scholar
  4. Fung, Y.C. (1993b). Biomechanics: Mechanical Properties of Living Tissues. Second edition. Springer Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  5. Harris, C.R.S. (1980). The arteries in Greco-Roman medicine. In Structure and Function of the Circulation (Schwartz, C.T., Werthessen, N.T., and Wolf, S., eds.), Plenum Press New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. C. Fung
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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