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Open AccessArticle

Deformation of a Red Blood Cell in a Narrow Rectangular Microchannel

1
Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University, 1-3 Machikaneyama, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-8531, Japan
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
3
Department of Physics, Graduate School of Science, Chiba University, Chiba 263-8522, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2019, 10(3), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10030199
Received: 14 February 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 16 March 2019 / Published: 21 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Devices for Blood Analysis)
The deformability of a red blood cell (RBC) is one of the most important biological parameters affecting blood flow, both in large arteries and in the microcirculation, and hence it can be used to quantify the cell state. Despite numerous studies on the mechanical properties of RBCs, including cell rigidity, much is still unknown about the relationship between deformability and the configuration of flowing cells, especially in a confined rectangular channel. Recent computer simulation techniques have successfully been used to investigate the detailed behavior of RBCs in a channel, but the dynamics of a translating RBC in a narrow rectangular microchannel have not yet been fully understood. In this study, we numerically investigated the behavior of RBCs flowing at different velocities in a narrow rectangular microchannel that mimicked a microfluidic device. The problem is characterized by the capillary number C a , which is the ratio between the fluid viscous force and the membrane elastic force. We found that confined RBCs in a narrow rectangular microchannel maintained a nearly unchanged biconcave shape at low C a , then assumed an asymmetrical slipper shape at moderate C a , and finally attained a symmetrical parachute shape at high C a . Once a RBC deformed into one of these shapes, it was maintained as the final stable configurations. Since the slipper shape was only found at moderate C a , measuring configurations of flowing cells will be helpful to quantify the cell state. View Full-Text
Keywords: red blood cells; Lattice–Boltzmann method; finite element method; immersed boundary method; narrow rectangular microchannel; computational biomechanics red blood cells; Lattice–Boltzmann method; finite element method; immersed boundary method; narrow rectangular microchannel; computational biomechanics
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Takeishi, N.; Ito, H.; Kaneko, M.; Wada, S. Deformation of a Red Blood Cell in a Narrow Rectangular Microchannel. Micromachines 2019, 10, 199.

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