Microvascular hemodynamics in the chick chorioallantoic membrane

Amy F. Smith, Bianca Nitzsche, Martin Maibier, Axel R. Pries, Timothy W. Secomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: The microvasculature of the CAM in the developing chick embryo is characterized by interdigitating arteriolar and venular trees, connected at multiple points along their lengths to a mesh-like capillary plexus. Theoretical modeling techniques were employed to investigate the resulting hemodynamic characteristics of the CAM. Methods: Based on previously obtained anatomical data, a model was developed in which the capillary plexus was treated as a porous medium. Supply of blood from arterioles and drainage into venules were represented by distributions of flow sources and sinks. Predicted flow velocities were compared with measurements in arterioles and venules obtained via video microscopy. Results: If it was assumed that blood flowed into and out of the capillary plexus only at the ends of terminal arterioles and venules, the predicted velocities increased with decreasing diameter in vessels below 50 μm in diameter, contrary to the observations. Distributing sources/sinks along arterioles/venules led to velocities consistent with the data. Conclusions: These results imply that connections to the capillary plexus distributed along the arterioles and venules strongly affect the hemodynamic characteristics of the CAM. The theoretical model provides a basis for quantitative simulations of structural adaptation in CAM networks in response to hemodynamic stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-522
Number of pages11
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Darcy flow
  • continuum modeling
  • development
  • networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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