Effect of convection in capillaries on oxygen removal from arterioles in striated muscle

D. P.V. Weerappuli, R. N. Pittman, A. S. Popel

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10 Scopus citations


Based on experimental data that show the presence of significant oxygen saturation gradients in precapillary arterioles, it has been suggested that the in vivo permeability to oxygen of resting striated muscle may be significantly higher than the corresponding in vitro value obtained in unperfused tissue samples (Popel et al., 1989b, Adv. expl. Med. Biol. 247, 215). The present study performs two analyses to further compare theoretical predictions with experimental data obtained under control conditions and during hemodilution and hemoconcentration. First, it is shown that, in principle, a capillary-perfused tissue layer with a thickness of a few hundred microns is necessary to convectively carry the experimentally determined amount of oxygen released by precapillary arterioles under control and hemodiluted conditions. This capacity to convect oxygen depends strongly on the resting tissue oxygen tension. Second, a more general version of a previous model (Weerappuli & Popel, 1989, J. Biomech. Eng. 111, 24) is used to examine whether changes made in the model parameters within the physiological range of values can explain the experimentally measured flux. The results show that the theoretical predictions can be made compatible with experimental observations if the in vivo permeability of perfused tissue to oxygen is assumed to be one to two orders of magnitude higher than the in vitro value. Furthermore, the predicted in vivo permeability for perfused tissue surrounding an arteriole varies with the arteriolar luminal oxygen tension and flow. This may be due to simplifying approximations made in the model or possible experimental artifacts. Alternatively, it could also be speculated that this variability indicates the flow dependency of the permeability of perfused tissue to oxygen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-288
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 21 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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