A numerical study of plasma skimming in small vascular bifurcations

G. Enden, A. S. Popel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Owing in part to a plasma-skimming mechanism, the distribution of red blood cells (RBCs) into branches of microvascular bifurcations typically differs from the distribution of the bulk blood flow. This paper analyzes the plasma-skimming mechanism that causes phase separation due to uneven distribution of red blood cells at the inlet cross section of the parent vessel. In a previous study, the shape of the surface that divides the flow into the branches was found by numerical simulation of three-dimensional flow of a homogeneous Newtonian fluid in T-type bifurcations. Those findings are used in this study to determine, as a first approximation, the side-to-parent vessel RBC flux ratio and discharge hematocrit ratio as a function of corresponding flow ratios. Calculations are based on the assumption that RBCs move along streamlines of a homogeneous Newtonian fluid and are uniformly distributed within a concentric core at the inlet cross section of the parent vessel. The results of our calculations agree well for a wide range of flow parameters with experimental data from in vivo and in vitro studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Volume116
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)

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