The blood vessels are organs of the cardiovascular system, and they form a closed circuit of tubes that carries blood from the heart to cells and back again. These vessels include arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins. The arteries and arterioles conduct blood away from the ventricles of the heart and lead to the capillaries. The capillaries are sites of exchange of substances between blood and the body cells, and the venules and veins return blood from the capillaries to the atria. (Figure 5A shows a semisynthetic blood vessel substitute.)
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.