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Title: Large scale simulation of red blood cell aggregation in shear flows
Authors: Xu, Dong 
Kaliviotis, Efstathios 
Munjiza, Ante 
Avital, Eldad 
Ji, Chunning 
Williams, John J.R. 
Major Field of Science: Engineering and Technology
Field Category: Electrical Engineering - Electronic Engineering - Information Engineering
Keywords: Red blood cells;Adhesion;Aggregation;Immersed boundary method;Numerical simulation
Issue Date: 26-Jul-2013
Source: Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 46, iss. 11, 2013, pp. 1810-1817
Volume: 46
Issue: 11
Start page: 1810
End page: 1817
Journal: Journal of Biomechanics 
Abstract: Aggregation of highly deformable red blood cells (RBCs) significantly affects the blood flow in the human circulatory system. To investigate the effect of deformation and aggregation of RBCs in blood flow, a mathematical model has been established by coupling the interaction between the fluid and the deformable solids. The model includes a three-dimensional finite volume method solver for incompressible viscous flows, the combined finite-discrete element method for computing the deformation of the RBCs, a JKR model-Johnson, Kendall and Roberts (1964-1971) (Johnson et al., 1971) to take account of the adhesion forces between different RBCs and an iterative direct-forcing immersed boundary method to couple the fluid-solid interactions. The flow of 49,512 RBCs at 45% concentration under the influence of aggregating forces was examined, improving the existing knowledge on simulating flow and structural characteristics of blood at a large scale: previous studies on the particular issue were restricted to simulating the flow of 13,000 aggregative ellipsoidal particles at a 10% concentration. The results are in excellent agreement with experimental studies. More specifically, both the experimental and the simulation results show uniform RBC distributions under high shear rates (60-100/s) whereas large aggregation structures were observed under a lower shear rate of 10/s. The statistical analysis of the simulation data also shows that the shear rate has significant influence on both the flow velocity profiles and the frequency distribution of the RBC orientation angles.
ISSN: 0021-9290
DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2013.05.010
Rights: © Elsevier
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Type: Article
Affiliation : Tianjin University 
King’s College London 
University of London 
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