Deformation of a single red blood cell in a microvessel

Hasitha Nayanajith Polwaththe Gallage, Suvash C. Saha, YuanTong Gu

Abstract


Red blood cells (RBCs) are the most common type of cells in human blood and they exhibit different types of motions and deformed shapes in capillary flows. The behaviour of the RBCs should be studied in order to explain the RBC motion and deformation mechanism. This article presents a numerical simulation method for RBC deformation in microvessels. A two dimensional spring network model is used to represent the RBC membrane, where the elastic stretch/compression energy and the bending energy are considered with the constraint of constant RBC surface area. The forces acting on the RBC membrane are obtained from the principle of virtual work. The whole fluid domain is discretized into a finite number of particles using smoothed particle hydrodynamics concepts and the motions of all the particles are solved using Navier--Stokes equations. Minimum energy concepts are used to simulate the deformed shape of the RBC model. To verify the model, the motion of a single RBC is simulated in a Poiseuille flow and the characteristic parachute shape of the RBC is observed. Further simulations reveal that the RBC shows a tank treading motion when it flows in a linear shear flow.

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Keywords


Red Blood Cells, Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics, Computational biomechanics, Particle method, Blood flow, Meshfree method.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21914/anziamj.v55i0.7828



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