Your browser has javascript turned off or blocked. This will lead to some parts of our website to not work properly or at all. Turn on javascript for best performance.

The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/windows/end-of-ie-support).

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Picture of Patrik Edén

Patrik Edén

Senior Lecturer

Picture of Patrik Edén

Pulsatile blood flow, shear force, energy dissipation and Murray's Law

Author

  • Page R Painter
  • Patrik Edén
  • Hans-Uno Bengtsson

Summary, in English

Background



Murray's Law states that, when a parent blood vessel branches into daughter vessels, the cube of the radius of the parent vessel is equal to the sum of the cubes of the radii of daughter blood vessels. Murray derived this law by defining a cost function that is the sum of the energy cost of the blood in a vessel and the energy cost of pumping blood through the vessel. The cost is minimized when vessel radii are consistent with Murray's Law. This law has also been derived from the hypothesis that the shear force of moving blood on the inner walls of vessels is constant throughout the vascular system. However, this derivation, like Murray's earlier derivation, is based on the assumption of constant blood flow.



Methods



To determine the implications of the constant shear force hypothesis and to extend Murray's energy cost minimization to the pulsatile arterial system, a model of pulsatile flow in an elastic tube is analyzed. A new and exact solution for flow velocity, blood flow rate and shear force is derived.



Results



For medium and small arteries with pulsatile flow, Murray's energy minimization leads to Murray's Law. Furthermore, the hypothesis that the maximum shear force during the cycle of pulsatile flow is constant throughout the arterial system implies that Murray's Law is approximately true. The approximation is good for all but the largest vessels (aorta and its major branches) of the arterial system.



Conclusion



A cellular mechanism that senses shear force at the inner wall of a blood vessel and triggers remodeling that increases the circumference of the wall when a shear force threshold is exceeded would result in the observed scaling of vessel radii described by Murray's Law.

Department/s

  • Computational Biology and Biological Physics

Publishing year

2006

Language

English

Publication/Series

Theoretical Biology Medical Modelling

Volume

3

Issue

31

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

BioMed Central (BMC)

Topic

  • Biophysics

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1742-4682