Red blood cell phase separation in symmetric and asymmetric microchannel networks: effect of capillary dilation and inflow velocity

Clavica, Francesco; Homsy, Alexandra; Jeandupeux, Laure; Obrist, Dominik (2016). Red blood cell phase separation in symmetric and asymmetric microchannel networks: effect of capillary dilation and inflow velocity. Scientific Reports, 6(36763), p. 36763. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/srep36763

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The non-uniform portioning or phase separation of red blood cells (RBCs) at a diverging bifurcation of a microvascular network is responsible for RBC heterogeneity within the network. The mechanisms controlling RBC heterogeneity are not yet fully understood and there is a need to improve the basic understanding of the phase separation phenomenon. In this context, in vitro experiments can fill the gap between existing in vivo and in silico models as they provide better controllability than in vivo experiments without mathematical idealizations or simplifications inherent to in silico models. In this study, we fabricated simple models of symmetric/asymmetric microvascular networks; we provided quantitative data on the RBC velocity, line density and flux in the daughter branches. In general our results confirmed the tendency of RBCs to enter the daughter branch with higher flow rate (Zweifach-Fung effect); in some cases even inversions of the Zweifach-Fung effect were observed. We showed for the first time a reduction of the Zweifach-Fung effect with increasing the flow rate. Moreover capillary dilation was shown to cause an increase of RBCs line density and RBCs residence time within the dilated capillary underlining the possible role of pericytes in regulating the oxygen supply.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Clavica, Francesco and Obrist, Dominik

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

2045-2322

Publisher:

Nature Publishing Group

Language:

English

Submitter:

Francesco Clavica

Date Deposited:

08 Dec 2016 13:10

Last Modified:

15 Jan 2017 02:13

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/srep36763

PubMed ID:

27857165

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.90677

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/90677

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