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Micromachines 2018, 9(4), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9040151

Deformation of Red Blood Cells, Air Bubbles, and Droplets in Microfluidic Devices: Flow Visualizations and Measurements

1
Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, ESTiG/IPB, C. Sta. Apolónia, 5301-857 Bragança, Portugal
2
CEFT, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (FEUP) Rua Roberto Frias, 4800-058 Porto, Portugal
3
LCM—Laboratory of Catalysis and Materials—Associate Laboratory LSRE/LCM, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (FEUP) Rua Roberto Frias, 4800-058 Porto, Portugal
4
MEMS-UMinho Research Unit, Universidade do Minho, DEI, Campus de Azurém, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
5
Centro de Investigação em Digitalização e Robótica Inteligente (CeDRI), Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança, Portugal
6
Algoritmi R&D Centre, Campus de Gualtar, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
7
MEtRiCS, Mechanical Engineering Department, Campus de Azurém, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 February 2018 / Revised: 21 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
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Abstract

Techniques, such as micropipette aspiration and optical tweezers, are widely used to measure cell mechanical properties, but are generally labor-intensive and time-consuming, typically involving a difficult process of manipulation. In the past two decades, a large number of microfluidic devices have been developed due to the advantages they offer over other techniques, including transparency for direct optical access, lower cost, reduced space and labor, precise control, and easy manipulation of a small volume of blood samples. This review presents recent advances in the development of microfluidic devices to evaluate the mechanical response of individual red blood cells (RBCs) and microbubbles flowing in constriction microchannels. Visualizations and measurements of the deformation of RBCs flowing through hyperbolic, smooth, and sudden-contraction microchannels were evaluated and compared. In particular, we show the potential of using hyperbolic-shaped microchannels to precisely control and assess small changes in RBC deformability in both physiological and pathological situations. Moreover, deformations of air microbubbles and droplets flowing through a microfluidic constriction were also compared with RBCs deformability. View Full-Text
Keywords: red blood cells; deformation index; microfluidic devices; air bubbles; droplets; blood flow red blood cells; deformation index; microfluidic devices; air bubbles; droplets; blood flow
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Bento, D.; Rodrigues, R.O.; Faustino, V.; Pinho, D.; Fernandes, C.S.; Pereira, A.I.; Garcia, V.; Miranda, J.M.; Lima, R. Deformation of Red Blood Cells, Air Bubbles, and Droplets in Microfluidic Devices: Flow Visualizations and Measurements. Micromachines 2018, 9, 151.

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