Effects of inner solution viscosity and membrane stiffness on erythrocyte deformability on passing through a microchannel: prediction by two-dimensional simulation
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We studied erythrocyte deformability in an effort to develop diagnostic methods based on its measurement and thus aid in the development of therapies for circulatory diseases. In the reported work, we performed two-dimensional numerical simulations of blood flow through a microchannel (MC) to evaluate erythrocyte deformability, applying the immersed boundary method to simulate erythrocyte movement and deformation. To evaluate deformability, MC transit capacity and shape recoverability were considered, defined as the time required to pass through the MC and the time constant during the shape-recovery process after exiting the MC, respectively. The simulation results showed that the erythrocyte MC transit time increased when the viscosity of the inner solution or the stiffness of the membrane increased. The time constant for erythrocyte shape recovery increased as the inner solution viscosity increased. In contrast, the time constant decreased as the erythrocyte membrane stiffness increased. These time-constant trends were in agreement with a theoretical equation derived using the Kelvin model and with previous experimental results. This diagnostic method of measuring erythrocyte shape recoverability and MC transit capacity is anticipated to have clinical application.
KeywordsErythrocyte deformability Shape recoverability Microchannel Transit capacity Kelvin model Immersed boundary method
Part of this research was supported by a “Strategic Project to Support the Formation of Research Bases at Private Universities” Matching Fund Subsidy from MEXT 2008–2010.
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