Velocities of the red blood cell (RBC) and the suspending medium in glass capillaries of 9 to 20 μm were measured under microscopic observation. The effects of physical factors such as driving pressure, capillary diameter, hematocrits and RBC deformability on flow velocities were studied using freshly drawn blood of the rat resuspended in phosphate buffered saline solution in the hematocrit range between 5 and 12.5%. These RBC suspensions were made to flow through the test glass capillaries under known negative driving pressures. Ratios of capillary hematocrit to feed hematocrit taken as measures of the Fahraeus effect showed almost constant value of about 0.74. While, ratios of capillary hematocrit to discharge hematocrit showed a characteristic dependence on capillary diameter, showing minimal values at about 13 μm in capillary diameter. The same hematocrit ratios were found to be well correlated with values of wall shear rates estimated from the relative RBC velocities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)