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see digestive systemdigestive system,
in the animal kingdom, a group of organs functioning in digestion and assimilation of food and elimination of wastes. Virtually all animals have a digestive system. In the vertebrates (phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata) the digestive system is very complex.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a wavelike contraction that propels the contents of tubular organs, for example, the intestine, stomach, and ureters, caudally in animals or in a downward direction in man. Peristalsis is the result of many coordinated contractions of the longitudinal and transverse muscles in the walls of a tubular organ. A single peristaltic wave takes the form of a circular constriction around the lumen that moves along the length of the organ. The walls of the organ are always slightly relaxed before the arrival of the constriction, so that the wave appears to push the contents in the direction in which it travels. Peristaltic waves follow each other continuously at a fixed rhythm and rate. In man, for example, the peristaltic rhythm of the stomach is 3 waves/min, with each wave moving at the rate of 0.5 cm/sec; intestinal peristalsis occurs at the rate of 6 waves/min.

Peristalsis is conditioned by the ability of smooth muscles to contract automatically and by the functioning of nerve plexuses in the muscles. The autonomic nervous system and humoral factors regulate peristalsis. Furthermore, the central nervous system, including the cerebral cortex, may participate in the regulation of peristalsis. This was experimentally demonstrated in animals by inducing changes in peristaltic patterns using conditioned reflexes. Observations on humans show that anger and pain inhibit peristalsis, whereas fear sometimes intensifies it; these observations are taken as further evidence that the cortex may have a role in peristaltic control. However, peristalsis is well indicated in isolated parts of the intestine. Medications and the physical and chemical properties of foods also affect peristalsis.


See references under .
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The rhythmic progressive wave of muscular contraction in tubes, such as the intestine, provided with both longitudinal and transverse muscular fibers.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Physiol the succession of waves of involuntary muscular contraction of various bodily tubes, esp of the alimentary tract, where it effects transport of food and waste products
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
In this paper, the system of partial differential equations describing the peristaltic flow of a nanofluid with an endoscope has been solved exactly.
The endoscope now is a very important tool used for determining the real causes responsible for many problems in the human organs through which the fluids are transported by peristaltic pumping such as, stomach and small intestine.
And then, CAE software by ANSYS[R] is used for static simulations of 3-DOF peristaltic structure robot.
Flexicon's full product range includes asepticsu, a single-use fully assembled disposable aseptic fluid path system; semi- and fully automated filling and capping machines; positive displacement filling; bottle handling and bottle capping equipment; accurate peristaltic liquid filling, cream and oil filling and in-line filling and capping systems.
Its unique design reduces the footprint by up to 70 per cent compared to conventional peristaltic pumps.
Ideal for the transfer and the dosing of fragile, abrasive, viscous fluids or fluids containing solids, the PCM Delasco[TM] peristaltic pumps can run dry without causing any damages.
where a is the amplitude of the peristaltic wave, [lambda] is the wavelength, t is the time, c is the speed of the wave, and [d.sub.1] is the half-width of the channel.
Recently, a few papers have been published in the field of nanofluid flows under the peristaltic action [18-23].
In addition to being made of medical-grade, biocompatible material, peristaltic pump tubing must demonstrate elasticity in order to allow the ongoing occlusion necessary to move vital fluids.
Thermo Fisher Scientific's Masterflex peristaltic pumps are used in laboratories and medical devices to dispense small droplets and continuous streams of purified fluids.
* Independent channel calibration minimizes the tube-to-tube differences resulting in the best calibration accuracy possible in a multichannel peristaltic pump.
This application note describes how using a DOSE-IT peristaltic pump results in 40 percent time-savings compared to a regular pipette controller and at the same time helps to reduce excessive strain caused by this repetitive work.