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research-article

Internal viscosity dependent margination of red blood cells in micro-fluidic channels

[+] Author and Article Information
Faisal Ahmed

PhD Student, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA; Renewable Bioproducts Institute (Paper Tricentennial Building), 500 10th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, USA
faisal.ahmedbd@gmail.com

Marmar Mehrabadi

Post-Doctoral Fellow, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, 801 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
marmar@gatech.edu

Zixiang Liu

PhD Student, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, 801 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
zxliu@gatech.edu

Gilda Barabino

Dean and Professor of Grove School of Engineering, The City College of New York, New York, NY 10031, USA; Steinman Hall, Suite 142, 160 Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031, USA
gbarabino@ccny.cuny.edu

Dr. Cyrus K Aidun

Professor, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, and Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology, 801 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA; Love Building, Room 320, 801 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
cyrus.aidun@me.gatech.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039897 History: Received June 09, 2017; Revised February 06, 2018

Abstract

Cytoplasmic viscosity-dependent margination of red blood cells (RBC) for flow inside micro-channels was studied using numerical simulations and the results were verified with microfluidic experiments. Wide range of suspension volume fractions or hematocrits were considered in this study. Lattice Boltzmann method for fluid phase coupled with Spectrin Link method for RBC membrane deformation was used for accurate analysis of cell margination. RBC margination behavior shows strong dependence on the internal viscosity of the RBCs. At equilibrium, RBCs with higher internal viscosity marginate closer to the channel wall and the RBCs with normal internal viscosity migrate to the central core of the channel. Same margination pattern has been verified through experiments conducted with straight channel microfluidic devices. Segregation between RBCs of different internal viscosity is enhanced as the shear rate and the hematocrit increases. Stronger separation between normal RBCs and RBCs with high internal viscosity is obtained as the width of a high aspect ratio channel is reduced. Overall, the margination behavior of RBCs with different internal viscosities resembles with the margination behavior of RBCs with different levels of deformability. Observations from this work will be useful in designing microfluidic devices for separating the sub-populations of RBCs with different levels of deformability that appear in many hematologic diseases such as sickle cell disease, malaria or cancer.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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