Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Electric Potential in Coiled Blood Vessels?

  1. May 31, 2013 #1
    The basis behind electric energy is the movement of electrons or ions through a wire or medium. That is simple. I know that blood vessels carry ions such as K+, Cl-, and Na+ through them in varying concentrations.

    What I want to know is if it would be viable to create a biological solenoid by using a scaffold or some other means to coil a blood vessel. Here are a few questions I have thought of.

    -would there be sufficient current created by ionic species traveling through a blood vessel?
    -what size, number of coils, and interluminal blood velocity might be needed?
    -would internal sheer stresses created by the coiling be too much?

    I understand that this is a pretty complicated and hypothetical question and I don't really expect an "answer". I am mainly here for brainstorming purposes.

    Thanks for your help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2013 #2
    This may be more of a physics question, but blood and other body fluids carry no net charge. Proteins in particular buffer disassociated acids. It's mostly such unmeasured anions that fill the so called "anion gap" which is merely a useful figure of speech. When the the anion gap is increased above normal, this is an indication of extracellular metabolic acidosis such as as might be seen with diabetic ketoacidosis, but there is still no net charge except perhaps very briefly and randomly at the molecular level. Essentially, we see the consumption of base (such as bicarbonate ions) and compensation mechanisms by way of the kidneys and lungs.

    EDIT: This is not to be confused with the micro-currents and resting potentials associated with polarization and depolarization of muscles and nerves.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook