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The aim of this experiment was to compare the elasticity of arteries and vein tissue and to identify how the structure of blood vessels relates to their functions.

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Introduction

AS Biology – Tim Durden

Investigating Arteries and Veins

Aim:

The aim of this experiment was to compare the elasticity of arteries and vein tissue and to identify how the structure of blood vessels relates to their functions.

Introduction:

There is an abundance of vessels in the circulatory system, of which there are two main vessels, the artery and the vein. Both of these contain a measurable amount of elastic fibres allowing them to expand and contract to adapt to and regulate blood flow changes. Arteries take oxygenated blood around the body whilst veins take deoxygenated blood from around the body back to the heart. When blood is pumped into the aorta (from the left ventricle of the heart) there is high pressure in the blood vessel. This high pressure environment is similar for all the arteries in the body (aside from a few) and it is why arteries have thicker, more muscular, walls. This muscular wall is what keeps a forward flow of blood in the artery when the heart relaxes.

This experiment was undertaken to examine and understand the structure and functions of arteries and veins.

This was done by investigating the elastic recoil of the blood vessel tissues.

...read more.

Middle

-3

20

38

41

0

-3

40

39

41

2.63

-2

60

41

44

7.89

-3

80

42

44

10.53

-2

100

43

45

13.15

-2

120

44

45

15.79

-1

140

44

45

15.79

-1

160

44

46

15.79

-2

180

44

46

15.79

-2

200

44

46

15.79

-2

220

45

46

18.42

-1

240

45

47

18.42

-2

260

45

47

18.42

-2

280

46

47

21.05

-1

300

47

47

23.68

0

Veins:

Force Applied (g)

Length (mm) After:

Application of Force

Length (mm) After:

Removal of Force

%

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Conclusion

Discussion:

Due to veins having a thinner layer of elastic fibres, smooth muscle and a larger lumen to that of the artery, it is expected that the structure of the vein does not allow it to have high strength and elasticity. Therefore, the thickness in layer of elastic fibres is directly proportional to the outcome of vessel elasticity relative to its size. Also, the thinner muscular walls of the vein are proportional to its strength, as seen by the experiment results. However, the vessel strength is not entirely dependant on the thickness in muscular walls. The arteries however, have a much thicker layer of elastic fibres and smooth muscle, as well as a smaller lumen. This explains why it has much higher elasticity, recoil and strength, all seen by the results in the graphs.  

From this experiment, it was noted that it if arteries were to have more elastic fibres, it would increase the amount of elastic recoil, thus enabling the arteries to return to their original size, reducing the risk of elastic damage in their high pressure (80-120 mm Hg) environments. This would not be so important for the veins, which not only have a lower pressure (10 mm Hg) environment, but valves along the vessels, which in turn reduce the risk of elastic damage.

Oct 03 – Investigating Arteries and Veins

...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This is a well written report that includes a good level of detail.
1. The introduction is well researched but should include references.
2. The method is detailed but should be structured into numbered steps.
3. The fair testing section covers control variables but not the independent and dependent.
4. The results are well presented.
5. The conclusion and analysis are concise and detailed.
6. The report is missing an evaluation.
**** (4 stars)

Marked by teacher Luke Smithen 29/05/2013

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