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Issue 13, 2016
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Deformation and internal stress in a red blood cell as it is driven through a slit by an incoming flow

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Abstract

To understand the deformation and internal stress of a red blood cell when it is pushed through a slit by an incoming flow, we conduct a numerical investigation by combining a fluid–cell interaction model based on boundary-integral equations with a multiscale structural model of the cell membrane that takes into account the detailed molecular architecture of this biological system. Our results confirm the existence of cell ‘infolding’, during which part of the membrane is inwardly bent to form a concave region. The time histories and distributions of area deformation, shear deformation, and contact pressure during and after the translocation are examined. Most interestingly, it is found that in the recovery phase after the translocation significant dissociation pressure may develop between the cytoskeleton and the lipid bilayer. The magnitude of this pressure is closely related to the locations of the dimple elements during the transit. Large dissociation pressure in certain cases suggests the possibility of mechanically induced structural remodeling and structural damage such as vesiculation. With quantitative knowledge about the stability of intra-protein, inter-protein and protein-to-lipid linkages under dynamic loads, it will be possible to achieve numerical prediction of these processes.

Graphical abstract: Deformation and internal stress in a red blood cell as it is driven through a slit by an incoming flow

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Article information


Submitted
03 Dec 2015
Accepted
31 Jan 2016
First published
01 Feb 2016

Soft Matter, 2016,12, 3156-3164
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Deformation and internal stress in a red blood cell as it is driven through a slit by an incoming flow

S. Salehyar and Q. Zhu, Soft Matter, 2016, 12, 3156
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM02933C

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