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Funcitons of Capillaries and the Digestive System Essay

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Capillaries are very small; in fact, capillaries are the tiniest of all blood vessels. They form the connection between veins and arterioles in the circulatory system. However, capillaries tend to be found everywhere. Unlike veins and arteries, the capillaries main function is not transporting blood. They allow the movement of substances, mainly gases Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide into and out of the capillary. Capillaries have very thin walls that are only one cell thick, which allows substances (such as oxygen) to diffuse through the wall effortlessly. They are also incredibly narrow; so narrow, that blood cells move through it one at a time. As arteries divide into arterioles and continue to diminish in size as they near muscle, they become capillaries. Here, the capillaries form a mesh like structure (capillary bed), forming a network throughout the muscle. This allows a fast and efficient transfer of oxygen-carrying red blood cells to the site where they are needed. With the combined structure of the thin walls and a large surface area, capillaries allow diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide with ease. This is ideal for the respiratory system which is in charge of oxidizing the blood
In the lungs gas exchange occurs to re-oxidize the blood. Air travels through the respiratory tract to reach the lungs and back up to be exhaled into the environment. At the termination point of the respiratory tract lays the alveoli. The alveoli have a sac-like structure. In biological systems, the structure and functions of components are related. The alveoli have a structure specialized for efficient gaseous exchange. In the structure of the alveoli (alveolus), it looks as if it has the form of a hollow cavity that is paired with elastic fibers...


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...sorption. The microvilli contain various protein channels and plasma membranes that contain pumps that use ATP. They allow the effective movement of nutrient subunits through diffusion and active transport. These subunits include monosaccharides, nucleic acids, glycerol, amino acids and fatty acids. For them to reach the circulatory system, the nutrient subunits pass through the wall of the small intestine to enter a dense network of capillaries that are found within the villi. The capillary will allow the transportation of the nutrient subunits to reach the tissues of the body; this movement of nutrients into the blood is known as absorption. The villi increase the surface area of the small intestine over which food may be absorbed. The waste products of this process, such as fiber, are then pushed into the colon, where they wait to be expelled by a bowel movement.



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