Irregular changes in the structure of flowing blood at low flow conditions

Alexander Pribush, Herbert J. Meiselman, Dan Meyerstein, Naomi Meyerstein

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2 Scopus citations


The structural organization of the dispersed phase of blood was studied by measuring the conductance (G) and the capacitance (C) of red blood cell (RBC) suspensions flowing in a vertical channel. Steady-state C and G signals exhibit erratic fluctuations around mean values; the root mean square of the fluctuating signals decreases rapidly as the average flow rate (<υ>) increases from 0.21 to ~4.17 mm/s and then less rapidly at higher velocities. The intensity of oscillations is substantially reduced for suspensions with weaker aggregating media. Analysis of the fluctuations performed in the framework of the equivalent electrical circuits for flowing blood gives rise to the following conclusions: (1) Instantaneous hematocrit (Hct) and velocity cross-stream profiles are non-smooth functions of radial position. (2) Oscillations of conductance at low flow conditions reflect irregular changes in the RBC network structure caused by fluctuations of aggregation-disaggregation equilibrium in the non-uniform shear field. (3) A transformation of the rheological behavior of RBC suspensions from shear-thinning to shear-thickening in a low flow regime amplifies fluctuations of aggregation-disaggregation equilibrium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2488-2496
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Aggregation
  • Cross-stream hematocrit
  • Erythrocyte
  • Velocity profiles


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