Journal of Biological Physics

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 591–603 | Cite as

Dynamics of blood flow: modeling of Fåhraeus and Fåhraeus–Lindqvist effects using a shear-induced red blood cell migration model

  • Rachid ChebbiEmail author
Original Paper


Blood flow in micro capillaries of diameter approximately 15–500 μm is accompanied with a lower tube hematocrit level and lower apparent viscosity as the diameter decreases. These effects are termed the Fåhraeus and Fåhraeus–Lindqvist effects, respectively. Both effects are linked to axial accumulation of red blood cells. In the present investigation, we extend previous works using a shear-induced model for the migration of red blood cells and adopt a model for blood viscosity that accounts for the suspending medium viscosity and local hematocrit level. For fully developed hematocrit profiles (i.e., independent of axial location), the diffusion fluxes due to particle collision frequency and viscosity gradients are of equal magnitude and opposite directions. The ratio of the diffusion coefficients for the two fluxes affects both the Fåhraeus and Fåhraeus–Lindqvist effects and is found related to the capillary diameter and discharge hematocrit using a well-known data-fit correlation for apparent blood viscosity. The velocity and hematocrit profiles were determined numerically as functions of radial coordinate, tube diameter, and discharge hematocrit. The velocity profile determined numerically is consistent with the derived analytical expression and the results are in good agreement with published numerical results and experimental data for hematocrit ratio and hematocrit and velocity profiles.


Red blood cells Axial accumulation Apparent blood viscosity Microvessels Cell depletion 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringAmerican University of SharjahSharjahUnited Arab Emirates

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