Authors: J.V. Lawry
Affilation: California Academy of Sciences, United States
Pages: 254 - 257
Keywords: hemolymph, networks, miniaturization, dynamical systems, topology
The circulation of insects and other invertebrates transfers heat, mass, and momentum within micro-fluids through phase interfaces of complex geometry at size ranges important for developing compact energy and chemical systems. Pump size and vascular resistance limit tubular transport of vertebrate systems shrunk to insect volumes. Within bodies <3-4 mm long, flies, beetles and bees disperse and separate diffusing substances in a large body cavity. Body movements and an open tubular pump stir fluid over organs that absorb and contribute substances in parallel. This robust exponential network is most efficient at the smallest dimensions when a 3D volume of blood converts to a 2D surface, increasing transmission probability from 0.34 to 1.