In microcirculation, red blood cells (RBCs) flowing through bifurcations may deform considerably due to combination of different phenomena that happen at the micro-scale level, such as: attraction effect, high shear, and extensional stress, all of which may influence the rheological properties and flow behavior of blood. Thus, it is important to investigate in detail the behavior of blood flow occurring at both bifurcations and confluences. In the present paper, by using a micro-PTV system, we investigated the variations of velocity profiles of two working fluids flowing through diverging and converging bifurcations, human red blood cells suspended in dextran 40 with about 14% of hematocrit level (14 Hct) and pure water seeded with fluorescent trace particles. All the measurements were performed in the center plane of rectangular microchannels using a constant flow rate of about 3.0 × 10-12 m3/s. Moreover, the experimental data was compared with numerical results obtained for Newtonian incompressible fluid. The behavior of RBCs was asymmetric at the divergent and convergent side of the geometry, whereas the velocities of tracer particles suspended in pure water were symmetric and well described by numerical simulation. The formation of a red cell-depleted zone immediately downstream of the apex of the converging bifurcation was observed and its effect on velocity profiles of RBCs flow has been investigated. Conversely, a cell-depleted region was not formed around the apex of the diverging bifurcation and as a result the adhesion of RBCs to the wall surface was enhanced in this region.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry