The structure and physical properties of ...

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Title The structure and physical properties of invertebrate and primitive vertebrate arteries
Author(s) I. G. Davison, Glenda M. Wright, M. E. Demont
Journal Journal of Experimental Biology
Date 1995
Volume 198
Issue 10
Start page 2185
End page 2196
Abstract Light and electron microscopy and in vitro inflation experiments were conducted on the aortae of three different invertebrate species: the lobster Homarus americanus, the horseshoe crab Limulus polyphemus and the whelk Busycon contrarium. Inflation experiments were also performed on the aortae of two species of primitive vertebrates, the sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus and the Atlantic hagfish Myxine glutinosa. The inflation experiments demonstrated similar overall biomechanical properties in each case, despite the existence of differences in tissue structure. The vessels were compliant at low strains, but demonstrated nonlinear elasticity, increasing in stiffness as strains increased; this property could act as protection against artery wall rupture. The vessels of the lamprey, hagfish and lobster are capable of acting as fairly efficient elastic reservoirs and of smoothing blood flow during circulation as they had low hysteresis values (13-18 %). The aortae of the horseshoe crab and whelk, if performing this function, have much higher energy losses, up to more than 30 % per cycle. The microscopy studies of the aortae of the lobster, horseshoe crab and whelk revealed tissue structures which differ widely from each other as well as from the structures of the lamprey and hagfish. None of these arteries contained elastin, but all contained fibrillar material which differed in appearance, size and arrangement between species. These materials were conjectured to contribute to the elastic properties of the tissue.
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