Volume flow and wall shear stress quantification in the human conjunctival capillaries and post-capillary venules in vivo
AuthorKoutsiaris, A. G.; Tachmitzi, S. V.; Batis, N.; Kotoula, M. G.; Karabatsas, C. H.; Tsironi, E.; Chatzoulis, D. Z.
Understanding the mathematical relationships of volume blood flow and wall shear stress with respect to microvessel diameter is necessary for the study of vascular design. Here, for the first time, volume flow and wall shear stress were quantified from axial red blood cell velocity measurements in 104 conjunctival microvessels of 17 normal human volunteers. Measurements were taken with a slit lamp based imaging system from the post capillary side of the bulbar conjunctiva in microvessel diameters ranging from 4 to 24 micrometers. The variation of the velocity profile with diameter was taken into account by using a profile factor function. Volume flow ranged from 5 to 462 pl/s with a mean value of 102 pl/s and gave a second power law best fitting line (r = 0.97) deviating significantly from the third power law relation with diameter. The estimated wall shear stress declined hyperbolically (r = 0.93) from a maximum of 9.55 N/m(2) at the smallest capillaries, down to a minimum of 0.28 N/m(2) at the higher diameter post capillary venules. The mean wall shear stress value for all microvessels was 1.54 N/m(2).