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Local viscosity distribution in bifurcating microfluidic blood flows

Kaliviotis, E; Sherwood, JM; Balabani, S; (2018) Local viscosity distribution in bifurcating microfluidic blood flows. Physics of Fluids , 30 (3) , Article 030706. 10.1063/1.5011373. Green open access

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Abstract

The red blood cell (RBC) aggregation phenomenon is majorly responsible for the non-Newtonian nature of blood, influencing the blood flow characteristics in the microvasculature. Of considerable interest is the behaviour of the fluid at the bifurcating regions. In vitro experiments, using microchannels, have shown that RBC aggregation, at certain flow conditions, affects the bluntness and skewness of the velocity profile, the local RBC concentration, and the cell-depleted layer at the channel walls. In addition, the developed RBC aggregates appear unevenly distributed in the outlets of these channels depending on their spatial distribution in the feeding branch, and on the flow conditions in the outlet branches. In the present work, constitutive equations of blood viscosity, from earlier work of the authors, are applied to flows in a T-type bifurcating microchannel to examine the local viscosity characteristics. Viscosity maps are derived for various flow distributions in the outlet branches of the channel, and the location of maximum viscosity magnitude is obtained. The viscosity does not appear significantly elevated in the branches of lower flow rate as would be expected on the basis of the low shear therein, and the maximum magnitude appears in the vicinity of the junction, and towards the side of the outlet branch with the higher flow rate. The study demonstrates that in the branches of lower flow rate, the local viscosity is also low, helping us to explain why the effects of physiological red blood cell aggregation have no adverse effects in terms of in vivo vascular resistance.

Type: Article
Title: Local viscosity distribution in bifurcating microfluidic blood flows
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1063/1.5011373
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5011373
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10044534
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