Margination mechanism of stiffened red blood cell in microchannel with different cross-section shapes

  • Yuanyuan Chen
  • Yongjian Li
  • Donghai Li
  • Jiang Li
  • Haosheng ChenEmail author
Research Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. 2018 International Conference of Microfluidics, Nanofluidics and Lab-on-a-Chip, Beijing, China


An investigation of red blood cells (RBCs) margination’s dependence on channel cross-section shape is presented. The irregularity of the vascular cross-section has been proved to satisfy the condition for stiffened RBCs to perform margination in vivo, while the effect of channel geometry along channel width on cell margination has not been revealed. To illustrate this problem, RBCs’ flowing behaviors in three different microchannels with cross-section of circular, rectangular and irregular are investigated, the forces acted on normal and stiffened RBCs are analyzed and calculated, the motions of RBCs are simulated, and the combined effect of channel geometry and fluid property is demonstrated. The stiffened RBCs are found to perform margination in rectangular and irregular channel with viscoelastic fluid, while not in circular channel under the same fluid condition. Furthermore, the importance of fluid viscoelasticity to cell margination is demonstrated in different microchannel. Our findings might offer some new insights to design microfluidic devices for cell-sorting technology and drug delivery system with high efficiency.


Red blood cells Microfluidics Margination Channel cross-section shape 



This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants no. 51322501 and no. 51420105006), and the Beijing NSFC project (no. 3172018). We also thank the support from “The Joint Foundation of Advance Research and the Ministry of Education, China (Research on Innovative Technology of Cold Atmospheric Plasma for Rapid Sterilization, Hemostasis and Healing)”. We thank Bing Dong for his support on this work, and thank Chi Zhang for his help on the numerical simulation.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuanyuan Chen
    • 1
  • Yongjian Li
    • 1
  • Donghai Li
    • 1
  • Jiang Li
    • 2
  • Haosheng Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of TribologyTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Mechanical Engineering SchoolUniversity of Science and Technology BeijingBeijingChina

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