Page 5, Hemodynamics, Dr. D. Penney
Shear rate may be thought of as the rate of movement of imaginary concentric layers of fluid in a tube when a motive force (shear stress) is applied. The layer nearer the wall than a layer inside it tends to slow its movement, while it in turn slows the movement of the layer just inside it nearer the axis. Higher relative velocity of the layers with respect to one another occurs in smaller tubes such as arterioles, because there are fewer layers with smaller diameters.
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