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Technical Brief

Design of a Microfluidic System for Red Blood Cell Aggregation Investigation

[+] Author and Article Information
R. Mehri

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Ottawa,
Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
e-mail: rmehri@uottawa.ca

C. Mavriplis, M. Fenech

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Ottawa,
Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received July 15, 2013; final manuscript received April 1, 2014; accepted manuscript posted April 7, 2014; published online April 18, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Jeffrey Ruberti.

J Biomech Eng 136(6), 064501 (Apr 18, 2014) (5 pages) Paper No: BIO-13-1317; doi: 10.1115/1.4027351 History: Received July 15, 2013; Revised April 01, 2014; Accepted April 07, 2014

The purpose of this paper is to design a microfluidic apparatus capable of providing controlled flow conditions suitable for red blood cell (RBC) aggregation analysis. The linear velocity engendered from the controlled flow provides constant shear rates used to qualitatively analyze RBC aggregates. The design of the apparatus is based on numerical and experimental work. The numerical work consists of 3D numerical simulations performed using a research computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver, Nek5000, while the experiments are conducted using a microparticle image velocimetry system. A Newtonian model is tested numerically and experimentally, then blood is tested experimentally under several conditions (hematocrit, shear rate, and fluid suspension) to be compared to the simulation results. We find that using a velocity ratio of 4 between the two Newtonian fluids, the layer corresponding to blood expands to fill 35% of the channel thickness where the constant shear rate is achieved. For blood experiments, the velocity profile in the blood layer is approximately linear, resulting in the desired controlled conditions for the study of RBC aggregation under several flow scenarios.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Mesh distribution and dimensions of the microchannel final design using the spectral element method

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Fig. 2

Micro PIV set up and light path within the system

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Fig. 3

Velocity profiles comparison between the experimental and numerical results for a velocity ratio of 4 extracted from the 150 × 33 μm microchannel at the location of x = 28 along the channel with Q=10μl/h. The interface location is denoted by S for the simulation and E for the experiments. A (water) and B (glycerol) represent the two fluids entering the Y-microchannel geometry from the bottom and top branches, respectively. The bars width of the experimental symbols represent the size of the correlation window.

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Fig. 4

RBC from sample T suspended in (a) PBS and (b) plasma at 10% H flowing in the 150 × 33 μm microchannel with a Q=10 μl/h visualized with the high speed camera. A (PBS) and B (RBC-suspension) represent the two fluids entering the Y-microchannel geometry from the bottom and top branches, respectively.

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Fig. 5

Velocity profile comparison of RBC in PBS and RBC in plasma from sample T at 10% H with simulation for the 150 × 33 μm microchannel with a Q=10μl/h. The corresponding RMS velocity profiles for RBC in PBS and RBC in plasma are displayed. The interface location is denoted by S for the simulation and E for the experiments. A (PBS) and B (RBC-suspension) represent the two fluids entering the Y-microchannel geometry from the bottom and top branches, respectively.

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Fig. 6

RBC from samples (a) S and (b) T suspended in plasma at 10% H flowing in the 150 × 33 μm microchannel with a Q=10 μl/h visualized with the high speed camera. A (PBS) and B (RBC-suspension) represent the two fluids entering the Y-microchannel geometry from the bottom and top branches, respectively.

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Fig. 7

Velocity profile comparison of RBC in plasma from sample T at 10% H with simulation for the 150 × 33 μm microchannel with a Q=5 μl/h. The corresponding RMS velocity profile for RBC in plasma is also displayed. The interface location is denoted by S for the simulation and E for the experiments. A (PBS) and B (RBC-suspension) represent the two fluids entering the Y-microchannel geometry from the bottom and top branches, respectively.

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