MCAT Basics Podcast

Cardiovascular System + Fluids

In this episode, we focus on the cardiovascular system and its connection to fluid mechanics. Beginning with an exploration of cardiovascular anatomy, the discussion covers various aspects of the heart: its function, contraction mechanism, the diverse cell types found within it, and its essential role in regulating blood pressure. 

Finally, in the latter part of the episode, several fluid mechanics topics pertinent to the MCAT and their application to the cardiovascular system are addressed. These include total peripheral resistance, viscosity, the continuity equation, and the Bernoulli equation, offering insights into their relevance in understanding cardiovascular dynamics.

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[00:00] Intro

[02:32] Circulatory system overview

[08:48] Blood’s journey from the heart through systematic circulation

[11:49] The reason the heart needs one-way valves

[15:14] The path of blood flow through the body

[16:52] Function of the heart

[22:21] QRS complex

[24:24] Cells that make up the heart

[28:33] Hormonal control of blood pressure and its relationship to the heart

[40:39] Application of physics fluids to cardiovascular system

[43:31] Peripheral resistance

[48:38] Viscosity 

[51:54] Continuity equation

[55:02] Bernoulli equation

Sam Smith

Sam completed his Bachelors of Science in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. Following his graduation, he worked at the National Institutes of Health Vaccine Research Center studying HIV. Meanwhile, with a microphone in his garage, Sam founded the MCAT Basics podcast. The podcast has grown to become the top rated MCAT podcast on iTunes. In addition to podcasting, Sam enjoys the outdoors, sports, and his friends and family.

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