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Structure of the Placenta

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Department
Biology
Course
BIOLOGY 2D03
Professor
Laura Parker
Semester
Fall

Description
Structure of the Placenta  Originates from fetal tissues and endometrium  Fully developed ≈20cm across and ≈3cm thick  Umbilical cord connects placenta with fetus o 1 umbilical vein → oxygenated blood from placenta to fetal vena cava o 2 umbilical arteries → deoxygenated blood from fetal aorta to placenta  FICK'S LAW: (surface area x difference in conc)/thickness of surface µ rate of diffusion o Microvilli grow into endometrium  Each villi contains a network of fetal capillaries  Surrounded by thin pool of maternal blood  Supplied by uterine arteries and drained by uterine vein o Max difference in concentration  Fetal Hb has a greater affinity for O2 than adult Hb  Flow of maternal and fetal blood in opposite direction  Uterine artery to umbilical vein  Maintains gradient/prevents concs reaching eqm o Short diffusion path (≈3.5μm)  Fetal and maternal blood supply is separated by 3 layers  Capillary endothelium  Thin layer of connective tissue  Epithelium covering villi  Exchange surface only one cell thick
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