May 27 – 30, 2015
Mariehamn, Åland
Europe/Stockholm timezone

Blood Cells under Flow

May 30, 2015, 11:30 AM
Conference room, Arkipelag (Mariehamn, Åland)

Conference room, Arkipelag

Mariehamn, Åland


Gerhard Gompper (Institute of Complex Systems and Institute for Advanced Simulation, Germany)


The flow behavior of vesicles and blood cells is important in many applications in biology and medicine. For example, the flow properties of blood in micro-vessels is determined by the rheological properties of red blood cells (RBCs). Blood flow is therefore strongly affected by diseases such as malaria or diabetes, where RBC deformability is strongly reduced. Furthermore, microfluidic devices have been developed recently, which allow the manipulation of small amounts of suspensions of particles or cells. Of fundamental interest is here the relation between the flow behavior and the elasticity and deformability of the blood cells, their long-range hydrodynamic interactions in microchannels, and thermal membrane undulations [1]. We study these mechanisms by combination of particle-based mesoscale simulation techniques [2] for the fluid hydrodynamics with triangulated-surface models [3, 4, 5] for the membrane. The essential control parameters are the volume fraction of RBCs (tube hematocrit), the cell shape and deformability, the flow velocity, and the capillary radius. In narrow channels, single red blood cells in capillary flow show a transition from the biconcave disk shape at low flow velocities to a parachute shape at high flow velocities [4, 6]. For somewhat wider channels, other shapes such as slippers intervene between these states [6]. At higher volume fractions, hydrodynamic interactions are responsible for a strong deformation-mediated clustering tendency at low hematocrits, as well as several distinct flow phases at higher hematocrits [7]. For large vessels, blood behaves like a continuum fluid, which displays a strong shear-thinning behavior; our simulations show quantitatively how this behavior arises due to RBC deformability and cell-cell attraction [8]. Finally, the interaction of RBCs with other blood cells or drug carriers is shown to lead to the margination of these particles at intermediate hematocrits and not too large flow rates [9, 10]. The properties of sedimenting RBCs are also briefly discussed [11]. [1] D. A. Fedosov, H. Noguchi, and G. Gompper. Multiscale Modeling of Blood Flow: From Single Cells to Blood Rheology. Biomech. Model. Mechanobiol. 13, 239-258 (2014). [2] G. Gompper, T. Ihle, D. M. Kroll, and R. G. Winkler. Multi-Particle Collision Dynamics - a Particle-Based Mesoscale Simulation Approach to the Hydrodynamics of Complex Fluids. Adv. Polymer Sci. 221, 1 (2009). [3] G. Gompper and D. M. Kroll. Triangulated-Surface Models of Fluctuating Membranes. In Statistical Mechanics of Membranes and Surfaces, 2nd edition, edited by D. R. Nelson and T. Piran and S. Weinberg (World Scientific, Singapore, 2004). [4] H. Noguchi and G. Gompper. Shape Transitions of Fluid Vesicles and Red Blood Cells in Capillary Flows. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102, 14159 (2005). [5] D. A. Fedosov, B. Caswell, and G. E. Karniadakis. A multiscale red blood cell model with accurate mechanics, rheology, and dynamics. Biophys. J. 98, 2215 (2010). [6] D. A. Fedosov, M. Peltomäki, and G. Gompper. Shapes and Deformation of Red Blood Cells in Microvessel Flows. Soft Matter 10, 4258-4267 (2014). [7] J. L. McWhirter, H. Noguchi, and G. Gompper. Flow-Induced Clustering and Alignment of Red Blood Cells in Microchannels. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106, 6039 (2009). [8] D. A. Fedosov, W. Pan, B. Caswell, G. Gompper, and G. E. Karniadakis. Predicting blood rheology in silico. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108, 11772 (2011). [9] D. A. Fedosov, J. Fornleitner, and G. Gompper. Margination of White Blood Cells in Microcapillary Flow. Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 028104 (2012). [10] K. Müller, D. A. Fedosov, and G. Gompper, Margination of micro- and nano-particles in blood flow and its effect on the effciency of drug delivery. Sci. Rep. 4, 4871 (2014). [11] M. Peltomäki and G. Gompper, Sedimentation of Single Red Blood Cells. Soft Matter 9, 8346{8358 (2013).

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