In vitro investigations of red blood cell phase separation in a complex microchannel network

Mantegazza, Alberto; Clavica, Francesco; Obrist, Dominik (2020). In vitro investigations of red blood cell phase separation in a complex microchannel network. Biomicrofluidics, 14(1), 014101. American Insitute of Physics 10.1063/1.5127840

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Microvascular networks feature a complex topology with multiple bifurcating vessels. Nonuniform partitioning (phase separation) of red blood cells (RBCs) occurs at diverging bifurcations, leading to a heterogeneous RBC distribution that ultimately affects the oxygen delivery to living tissues. Our understanding of the mechanisms governing RBC heterogeneity is still limited, especially in large networks where the RBC dynamics can be nonintuitive. In this study, our quantitative data for phase separation were obtained in a complex in vitro network with symmetric bifurcations and 176 microchannels. Our experiments showed that the hematocrit is heterogeneously distributed and confirmed the classical result that the branch with a higher blood fraction received an even higher RBC fraction (classical partitioning). An inversion of this classical phase separation (reverse partitioning) was observed in the case of a skewed hematocrit profile in the parent vessels of bifurcations. In agreement with a recent computational study [P. Balogh and P. Bagchi, Phys. Fluids 30,051902 (2018)], a correlation between the RBC reverse partitioning and the skewness of the hematocrit profile due to sequential converging and diverging bifurcations was reported. A flow threshold below which no RBCs enter a branch was identified. These results highlight the importance of considering the RBC flow history and the local RBC distribution to correctly describe the RBC phase separation in complex networks.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Cardiovascular Engineering (CVE)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Mantegazza, Alberto; Clavica, Francesco and Obrist, Dominik

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 620 Engineering

ISSN:

1932-1058

Publisher:

American Insitute of Physics

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Alberto Mantegazza

Date Deposited:

21 Jan 2020 15:42

Last Modified:

26 Jan 2020 02:49

Publisher DOI:

10.1063/1.5127840

PubMed ID:

31933711

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.138153

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/138153

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