Thierry Savin (ETH Zürich)

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22 février 2013 11:00 » 12:00 — A4 (Langevin)

Occlusive flow of red blood cells

When red blood cells (RBCs) move through narrow capillaries in the microcirculation, they deform as they flow. In pathophysiological processes such as sickle cell disease and malaria, RBCs’ deformability is altered and their motion is severely restricted. This can lead to vaso-occlusive crises with dramatic consequences. To understand the dynamics close to the threshold of occlusion, we used experiments and theory to study the motion of a single swollen RBC through a narrow glass capillary of varying inner diameter. We tracked the motion of the squeezed cell as a function of the driving pressure head and of the confinement diameter, and used a simple elasto-hydrodynamic model to explain the increase in the effective viscosity associated with the occlusion regime.

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