Elastic blood vessels accommodate pumping: mammals
The cylindrical veins and arteries of mammals play a crucial role in the smooth pumping of blood due to their elastic walls.
|Biomimetic Application Ideas|
|Flexible pipes that resist leakage/bursting, flexible pipes to manage stormwater overflow in sewer systems, reduced energy needs for pumping applications.|
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"The aortic wall of all vertebrates except agnathans contains a rubbery protein called elastin that allows the vessel to expand under the high pressures associated with cardiac contraction. In expanding, energy from the blood is temporarily stored in the elastin as elastic energy, but is promptly returned to the blood when the elastin recoils in diastole. This recoil acts as a second pump, forcing the blood on downstream and smoothing out pressure fluctuations. The total work of the heart is reduced as long as the transfer of energy into and out of the elastin is efficient. Elastin achieves both efficiency and long-range deformation with a high molecular mobility, although it is not clear how this mobility is achieved. Covalent crosslinks that unite individual molecules in an insoluble extracellular network ultimately limit this mobility and so allow the network to return to its original dimensions without permanent strain. Both high molecular mobility and insolubility are unusual for a protein, but they are understood to be necessary for elastomeric performance." (Chalmers et al. 1999:301)
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist
Application Ideas: Flexible pipes that resist leakage/bursting, flexible pipes to manage stormwater overflow in sewer systems, reduced energy needs for pumping applications.
Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Oil and gas, water supply, wastewater management, pumping
John Gosline Margo Lillie
University of British Columbia