Micro-scale dynamic simulation of erythrocyte-platelet interaction in blood flow.Ann Biomed Eng. 2008 Jun; 36(6):905-20.AB
Platelet activation, adhesion, and aggregation on the blood vessel and implants result in the formation of mural thrombi. Platelet dynamics in blood flow is influenced by the far more numerous erythrocytes (RBCs). This is particularly the case in the smaller blood vessels (arterioles) and in constricted regions of blood flow (such as in valve leakage and hinge regions) where the dimensions of formed elements of blood become comparable with that of the flow geometry. In such regions, models to predict platelet motion, activation, aggregation and adhesion must account for platelet-RBC interactions. This paper studies platelet-RBC interactions in shear flows by performing simulations of micro-scale dynamics using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model. A level-set sharp-interface immersed boundary method is employed in the computations in which RBC and platelet boundaries are tracked on a two-dimensional Cartesian grid. The RBCs are assumed to have an elliptical shape and to deform elastically under fluid forces while the platelets are assumed to behave as rigid particles of circular shape. Forces and torques between colliding blood cells are modeled using an extension of the soft-sphere model for elliptical particles. RBCs and platelets are transported under the forces and torques induced by fluid flow and cell-cell and cell-platelet collisions. The simulations show that platelet migration toward the wall is enhanced with increasing hematocrit, in agreement with past experimental observations. This margination is seen to occur due to hydrodynamic forces rather than collisional forces or volumetric exclusion effects. The effect of fluid shear forces on the platelets increases exponentially as a function of hematocrit for the range of parameters covered in this study. The micro-scale analysis can be potentially employed to obtain a deterministic relationship between fluid forces and platelet activation and aggregation in blood flow past cardiovascular implants.