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What is microcirculation?

Microcirculation Microcirculation Microcirculation

Microcirculation is the link between blood and single cell. By this link, tissue and single cells are supplied with oxygen and nutrients.

First of all, what is blood circulation?

The circulation can be pictured as blood travelling through the body in blood vessels. On average, we have about 5 litres of blood travelling through our circulatory system, delivering oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body.

On its return route to the heart, the blood picks up carbon dioxide and waste products to be excreted. Arteries carry blood away from the heart, in large volume and under high pressure. Smaller arteries branching off are called arterioles and eventually lead to capillaries.

Capillaries are the tiniest of our blood vessels. Being small allows them to penetrate into every corner of the body, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and single cells.

Blood in the capillaries feeds the tissues before travelling away from tissue and organs, flowing into small veins called venules and then into larger veins carrying blood back to the heart.

Microcirculation is the vascular network lying between the arterioles and the venules, including capillaries, as well as the flow of blood through this network.

microcirculation microscope

The importance of microcirculation

A better supply of blood and therefore oxygen and nutrients to a cell means:

The cell functions better;

The organ works better;

All organs work better;

The whole organism works better;

Result: A person feels and is healthier!

What is microcirculation Regulation,Capillary exchange,Bulk flow,Transcytosis?


The regulation of tissue perfusion occurs in microcirculation. There, arterioles control the flow of blood to the capillaries. Arterioles contract and relax, varying their diameter and vascular tone, as the vascular smooth muscle responds to diverse stimuli. Distension of the vessels due to increased blood pressure is a fundamental stimulus for muscle contraction in arteriolar walls. As a consequence, microcirculation blood flow remains constant despite of changes in systemic blood pressure. This mechanism is present in all tissues and organs of the human body. In addition, the nervous system participates in the regulation of microcirculation. The sympathetic nervous system activates the smaller arterioles, including terminals. Noradrenaline and adrenaline have effects on alpha and beta adrenergic receptors. Other hormones (catecholamine, renin-angiotensin, vasopressin, and atrial natriuretic peptide) circulate in the bloodstream and can have an effect on the microcirculation causing vasodilation or vasoconstriction. Many hormones and neuropeptides are released together with classical neurotransmitters.


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Arterioles respond to metabolic stimuli that are generated in the tissues. When tissue metabolism increases, catabolic products accumulate leading to vasodilation. The endothelium begins to control muscle tone and arteriolar blood flow tissue. Endothelial function in the circulation includes the activation and inactivation of circulating hormones and other plasma constituents. There are also synthesis and secretion of vasodilator and vasoconstrictor substances for modifying the width as necessary. Variations in the flow of blood that circulates by arterioles are capable of responses in endothelium.

Capillary exchange

The term capillary exchange refers to all exchanges at microcirculatory level, most of which occurs in the capillaries. Sites where material exchange occurs between the blood and tissues are the capillaries, which branch out to increase the swap area, minimize the diffusion distance as well as maximize the surface area and the exchange time.

Approximately, seven percent of the body’s blood is in the capillaries which continuously exchange substances with the liquid outside these blood vessels, called interstitial fluid. This dynamic displacement of materials between the interstitial fluid and the blood is named capillary exchange. These substances pass through capillaries through three different systems or mechanisms: diffusion, bulk flow, and transcytosis or vesicular transport. The liquid and solid exchanges that take place in the microvasculature particularly involve capillaries and post-capillary venules and collecting venules.

Capillary walls allow the free flow of almost every substance in plasma. The plasma proteins are the only exception, as they are too big to pass through. The minimum number of un-absorbable plasma proteins that exit capillaries enter lymphatic circulation for returning later on to those blood vessels. Those proteins which leave capillaries use the first capillary exchange mechanism and the process of diffusion, which is caused by kinetic motion of molecules.


These exchanges of substances are regulated by different mechanisms. These mechanisms work together and promote capillary exchange in the following way. First, molecules that diffuse are going to travel a short distance thanks to the capillary wall, the small diameter and the close proximity to each cell having a capillary. The short distance is important because the capillary diffusion rate decreases when the diffusion distance increases. Then, because of its large number (10-14 million capillaries), there is an incredible amount of surface area for exchange. However, this only has 5% of the total blood volume (250 ml 5000 ml). Finally, blood flows more slowly in the capillaries, given the extensive branching.


Diffusion is the first and most important mechanism that allows the flow of small molecules across capillaries. The process depends on the difference of gradients between the interstitium and blood, with molecules moving to low concentrated spaces from high concentrated ones. Glucose, amino acids, oxygen (O2) and other molecules exit capillaries by diffusion to reach the organism’s tissues. Contrarily, carbon dioxide (CO2) and other wastes leave tissues and enter capillaries by the same process but in reverse. Diffusion through the capillary walls depends on the permeability of the wall to which exchange materials, this permeability depends on the endothelial cells forming the capillary walls which may be continuous, discontinuous, and fenestrated. The Starling equation describes the roles of hydrostatic and osmotic pressures (the so-called Starling forces) in the movement of fluid across capillary endothelium.

Bulk flow

The second mechanism of capillary exchange is bulk flow. It is used by small, lipid-insoluble substances in order to cross. This movement depends on the physical characteristics of the capillaries. For example, continuous capillaries (tight structure) reduce bulk flow, fenestrated capillaries (perforated structure) increases bulk flow, and discontinuous capillaries (great intercellular gaps) enable bulk flow. In this case, the exchange of materials is determined by changes in pressure. When the flow of substances goes from the bloodstream or the capillary to the interstitial space or interstitium, the process is called filtration. This kind of movement is favored by blood hydrostatic pressure (BHP) and interstitial fluid osmotic pressure (IFOP). Otherwise, if the substances move from the interstitial fluid to the blood in capillaries, the process is called reabsorption. The pressures that favor this movement are blood colloid osmotic pressure (BCOP) and interstitial fluid hydrostatic pressure (IFHP). A substance will be filtrated or reabsorbed depending on the net filtration pressure (NFP). This force is the result of the balance between hydrostatic (BHP and IFHP) and osmotic pressures (IFOP and BCOP). These pressures are known as the Starling forces. If the calculation of the NFP is positive then there will be filtration, but if it is negative then reabsorption will occur.


The third capillary exchange mechanism is transcytosis, also called vesicular transport. By this process, blood substances move across the endothelial cells that compose the capillary structure. Finally, these materials exit by exocytosis, process in which vesicles go out from a cell to the interstitial space. Transcytosis is mainly used by large molecules that are lipid-insoluble, such as the insulin hormone. A minimum amount of substances cross by transcytosis. Once vesicles exit the capillaries, they go to the interstitium. Sometimes vesicles can merge with other vesicles, so their contents are mixed, or can directly go to a specific tissue. This material intermixed increases the functional capability of the vesicle.

How to find the clear first line of capillary in finger nail?

Step 1…Put the cedar oil on the verge of the finger and skin of the ring finger as bellow, put the verge of finger directly under the light source ( If there is no Cedar oil then please use baby oil or olive oil instead )

Step 2. Rotate the coarse handwheel to see the picture as bellow. The bigger one is the coarse adjustable wheel and the small wheel is the fine handwheel

Step 3. Just the X-Y wheel to get a correct position of the first line of the vessel(capillary tube) and then adjust the fine coarse handwheel to get a clear picture of the vessel. Usually we observe the first line of vessels which is large and obvious. So try to find the first line of vessels by rotating the X-Y wheel to change the position of the finger. And finally rotate the fine handwheel (the position in showed on step 2) to get a clear picture of the vessels,blood microcirculation test machine.

Step 4 If. there is spot on the screen, rotate the camera right and left to eliminate it.

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