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Adv Exp Med Biol. 1992;316:31-9.

The role of wall shear stress in microvascular network adaptation.

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Department of Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 53226.


The possible role of wall shear stress in microvascular network adaptation was investigated by computer simulation in planar polygonal model networks. Adaptation of vessel diameter to local wall shear stress resulted in false geometry and excessive rarefaction of the networks. Adaptation to mean wall shear stress decreased the range of shear stress, decreased the total power dissipation, and prevented network rarefaction. A measure of mean wall shear stress may serve as a control signal for the adaptation of vessel diameter to blood flow in microvascular networks.

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