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Red cell flexibility, electrical resistance and viscosity of blood flowing through small glass capillaries

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The influence of varying shear forces (4–10 μN·cm−2) generated by a pulsating flow of 4 cycles/min, on the longitudinal electrical resistance (R) of a blood perfused small glass capillary (I.D.=0.12 mm,l=30 mm) was determined. Red cells were stiffened by stepwise addition of bile or by sterile incubation during 24–48 h. The shear dependent changes in R were closely related to red cell flexibility and apparent blood viscosity. In normal defibrinized blood Rdecreased by about 3%, while more rigid cells evoked a shear dependentincrease in R of 1–5%. The measurements performed demonstrate that the typical shapes of the electrical signals provide more information of rheological significance of red blood cell flexibility than the results of viscosity determination alone.

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Braasch, D. Red cell flexibility, electrical resistance and viscosity of blood flowing through small glass capillaries. Pflugers Arch. 383, 229–232 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00587523

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Key words

  • Red cell flexibility
  • Viscosity
  • Electrical resistance
  • Chlorpromazine