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Series on BIOMECHANICS   ISSN 1313-2458
Array ( [session_started] => 1721305730 [LANGUAGE] => EN [LEPTON_SESSION] => 1 )


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The developments leading to the concept of the circulation of the blood
M.W. Rampling
Abstract: The seminal event in the history of haemorheology must surely be Harvey’s discovery of the circulation of the blood. Until that happened, the ideas concerning the movement of blood were based, in Europe and Middle East, largely on the principles laid down by Galen which had been, in effect, dogma for something like a millennium and a half. The essential concept was that the blood is formed in the liver, thence it travels to the periphery and is consumed – hence there is no circulation at all. Harvey’s revolutionary idea that blood circulates repeatedly around the cardiovascular system laid the foundation for haemorheology in that once the idea of a circulation was accepted then the fluidity of the blood immediately became potentially of crucial importance – and the prime aspect of haemorheology was born. In this paper the ideas that preceded Harvey’s brilliant insight are presented, i.e. Galen’s concepts and their modifications by the likes of Ibn al-Nafis, Vesalius and Colombo. The way that these led Harvey to his original investigations and experimental discoveries are discussed, and how these led to his revolutionary ideas published in De Mortu Cordis in 1628 and which changed forever the understanding of the cardio-vascular system.
Date published: 2015-12-10
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