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J R Soc Interface. 2015 Jun 6;12(107). pii: 20150245. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2015.0245.

Cerebral oxygenation and optimal vascular brain organization.

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School of Sciences and Engineering, University of Nicosia, 46 Makedonitissas Avenue, Engomi, Nicosia 1700, Cyprus KIOS Center for Intelligent Systems and Networks, University of Cyprus, Social Facilities Building, Leof. Panepistimiou 1, Aglantzia, PO Box 20537, Nicosia 1678, Cyprus
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0300, USA.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University College London (UCL), Torrington Place, London WC1E 7JE, UK.


The cerebral vascular network has evolved in such a way so as to minimize transport time and energy expenditure. This is accomplished by a subtle combination of the optimal arrangement of arteries, arterioles and capillaries and the transport mechanisms of convection and diffusion. Elucidating the interaction between cerebral vascular architectonics and the latter physical mechanisms can catalyse progress in treating cerebral pathologies such as stroke, brain tumours, dementia and targeted drug delivery. Here, we show that brain microvascular organization is predicated on commensurate intracapillary oxygen convection and parenchymal diffusion times. Cross-species grey matter results for the rat, cat, rabbit and human reveal very good correlation between the cerebral capillary and tissue mean axial oxygen convective and diffusion time intervals. These findings agree with the constructal principle.


diffusion and convection time; mammalian vascular architecture; optimal; oxygen

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