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J Biomech. 2009 May 11;42(7):857-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2009.01.039. Epub 2009 Mar 9.

Experimental study on the fluid mechanics of blood sucking in the proboscis of a female mosquito.

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Center for Biofluid and Biomimic Research, Department of Integrative Biosciences and Biotechnology, POSTECH, Pohang, Kyungbook, Republic of Korea.


Female mosquitoes are known to have a magnificent micro-scale pumping system that can transport small quantities of blood very effectively. To understand the dynamic characteristics of blood flow inside female mosquitoes, the measurement technique that is capable of measuring instantaneous flow fields of a biological sample at micrometer scales is required. In this study, the blood-sucking flow inside a female mosquito's food canal was measured in vivo using a micro particle image velocimetry (micro-PIV) velocity field measurement technique with high-temporal resolution. The volumetric flow rate (Q) and the time-averaged feeding speed (V) based on the diameter of the food canal (D) was found to be 5.751 x 10(-3) mm3/s and 0.416 cm/s, respectively. Spectral analysis on the velocity waveform shows a clear peak at 6.1 Hz, indicating distinct pulsatile blood-sucking characteristics. The Womersley number (alpha) was about 0.117 and the velocity profile of the blood flow inside the proboscis has a parabolic Hagen-Poiseuille flow pattern when alpha is much smaller than 1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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