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Form, shape and function: segmented blood flow in the choriocapillaris

Zouache, MA; Eames, I; Klettner, CA; Luthert, PJ; (2016) Form, shape and function: segmented blood flow in the choriocapillaris. Scientific Reports , 6 , Article 35754. 10.1038/srep35754. Green open access

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Abstract

The development of fluid transport systems was a key event in the evolution of animals and plants. While within vertebrates branched geometries predominate, the choriocapillaris, which is the microvascular bed that is responsible for the maintenance of the outer retina, has evolved a planar topology. Here we examine the flow and mass transfer properties associated with this unusual geometry. We show that as a result of the form of the choriocapillaris, the blood flow is decomposed into a tessellation of functional vascular segments of various shapes delineated by separation surfaces across which there is no flow, and in the vicinity of which the transport of passive substances is diffusion-limited. The shape of each functional segment is determined by the distribution of arterioles and venules and their respective relative flow rates. We also show that, remarkably, the mass exchange with the outer retina is a function of the shape of each functional segment. In addition to introducing a novel framework in which the structure and function of the metabolite delivery system to the outer retina may be investigated in health and disease, the present work provides a general characterisation of the flow and transfers in multipole Hele-Shaw configurations.

Type: Article
Title: Form, shape and function: segmented blood flow in the choriocapillaris
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/srep35754
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep35754
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1522183
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