Quantification of red blood cell deformation at high-hematocrit blood flow in microvessels.J Biomech 2012; 45(15):2684-9JB
The deformation of red blood cells in microvessels was investigated numerically for various vessel diameters, hematocrits, and shear rates. We simulated blood flow in circular channels with diameters ranging from 9 to 50 μm, hematocrits from 20% to 45%, and shear rates from 20 to 150 s(-1) using a particle-based model with parallel computing. The apparent viscosity predicted by the simulation was in good agreement with previous experimental results. We quantified the deformation of red blood cells as a function of radial position. The numerical results demonstrated that because of the shape transition in response to local shear stress and the wall effect, the radial variation of red blood cell deformation in relatively large microvessels could be classified into three different regions: near-center, middle, and near-wall regions. Effects of the local shear stress and wall varied with vessel diameter, hematocrit, and shear rate.