Crossover from tumbling to tank-treading-like motion in dense simulated suspensions of red blood cells
Via computer simulations, we provide evidence that the shear rate induced red blood cell tumbling-to-tank-treading transition also occurs at quite high volume fractions, where collective effects are important. The transition takes place as the ratio of effective suspension stress to the characteristic cell membrane stress exceeds a certain value and does not explicitly depend on volume fraction or cell deformability. This value coincides with that for a transition from an orientationally less ordered to a highly ordered phase. The average cell deformation does not show any signature of transition, but rather follows a simple scaling law independent of volume fraction.