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The Convective Diffusion of Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide and Inert Gas in Blood


Spaeth, Edmund Eugene (1967) The Convective Diffusion of Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide and Inert Gas in Blood. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/TFHB-C781.


In modern membrane-type artificial lungs, the major resistance to gas transfer is offered by the blood and not the membrane. Thus, a suitable theory for convective diffusion in blood must be available in order to design these devices. A general equation for the convective diffusion of gases in blood is presented in this work, and numerical solutions to this equation are compared with experimentally measured rates of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and krypton exchange with citrated blood in a boundary layer flow. The measurements were made in a new type of rotating disk apparatus which is especially suited to the study of gas transfer in complex fluids. Solutions of the general equation based on velocities derived from the Navier-Stokes equations are shown to predict the measured transfer rates, even though blood is known to be non-Newtonian at low shear rates. The desorption rate of oxygen from blood at low oxygen partial pressures was found to be up to four times the corresponding transfer rate of inert gas. This effect is described somewhat conservatively by a simple local equilibrium form of the general convective diffusion equation. The carbon dioxide transfer rate in blood near venous conditions was found to be about twice that of inert gas. This great an augmentation is not predicted by any simple form of the general convective diffusion equation. The behavior of the membrane lung system was studied numerically using these results, and the practical implications of this study are discussed.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Applied Mechanics)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Applied Mechanics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Friedlander, Sheldon K.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:4 January 1967
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-10042002-134827
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3896
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:04 Oct 2002
Last Modified:19 Mar 2024 23:38

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PDF (Spaeth_EE_1967.pdf) - Final Version
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