Conductometric study of shear-dependent processes in red cell suspensions. II. Transient cross-stream hematocrit distribution

A. Pribush, D. Meyerstein, H. J. Meiselman, N. Meyerstein

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10 Scopus citations


A novel experimental approach based on electrical properties of red blood cell (RBC) suspensions was applied to study the effects of the size and morphology of RBC aggregates on the transient cross-stream hematocrit distribution in suspensions flowing through a square cross-section flow channel. The information about the effective size of RBC aggregates and their morphology is extracted from the capacitance (C) and conductance (G) recorded during RBC aggregation, whereas a slower process of particle migration is manifested by delayed long-term changes in the conductance. Migration-induced changes in the conductance measured at low shear rates (≤3.1 s-1) for suspensions of RBCs in a strongly aggregating medium reveal an increase to a maximum followed by a decrease to the stationary level. The ascending branch of G(t) curves reflects the aggregate migration in the direction of decreasing shear rate. A further RBC aggregation in the region of lower shear stresses leads to the formation of RBC networks and results in the transformation of the rheological behavior of suspensions from the thinning to the thickening. It is suggested that the descending branches of the G(t) curves recorded at low shear rates reflect an adjustment of the Hct distribution to a new state caused by a partial dispersion of RBC networks. For suspensions of non-aggregating RBCs it is found that depending on whether the shear rate is higher or lower compared with the prior value, individual RBCs migrate either toward the centerline of the flow or in the opposite direction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-43
Number of pages15
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003


  • Aggregate morphology
  • Conductivity
  • RBC migration


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