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Issue 39, 2016
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Clusters of red blood cells in microcapillary flow: hydrodynamic versus macromolecule induced interaction

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Abstract

We present experiments on RBCs that flow through micro-capillaries under physiological conditions. The strong flow-shape coupling of these deformable objects leads to a rich variety of cluster formation. We show that the RBC clusters form as a subtle imbrication between hydrodynamic interactions and adhesion forces because of plasma proteins, mimicked by the polymer dextran. Clusters form along the capillaries and macromolecule-induced adhesion contributes to their stability. However, at high yet physiological flow velocities, shear stresses overcome part of the adhesion forces, and cluster stabilization due to hydrodynamics becomes stronger. For the case of pure hydrodynamic interaction, cell-to-cell distances have a pronounced bimodal distribution. Our 2D-numerical simulations on vesicles capture the transition between adhesive and non-adhesive clusters at different flow velocities.

Graphical abstract: Clusters of red blood cells in microcapillary flow: hydrodynamic versus macromolecule induced interaction

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 May 2016, accepted on 01 Sep 2016 and first published on 02 Sep 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6SM01165A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2016,12, 8235-8245
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    Clusters of red blood cells in microcapillary flow: hydrodynamic versus macromolecule induced interaction

    V. Clavería, O. Aouane, M. Thiébaud, M. Abkarian, G. Coupier, C. Misbah, T. John and C. Wagner, Soft Matter, 2016, 12, 8235
    DOI: 10.1039/C6SM01165A

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