Blood Cell Mechanics and Dynamics

Benchmark simulations of single cell mechanics and dynamics

Blood is a complex and very important fluid with a main function to transport oxygen, waste products, platelets, white blood cells and other species. Blood is a dense suspension of red blood cells (RBCs) whose specific mechanical properties and interactions greatly influence the rheology and transport of cells and other species. Separating plasma from blood, or isolating white blood cells (WBCs) and circulating tumor cells (CTCs) is often a prerequisite in performing diagnostic operations.

We develop state-of-the-art models based on the coupled lattice Boltzmann - immersed boundary method, fully resolving the mechanics of the cells and their interactions with blood plasma. These models help predict the transport of cells in microfluidic flows.

blood cells
Blood cell types used in the simulations: (a) Red blood cell (b) Platelet (c) White blood cell (d) Sickled RBC [5]. The mechanical properties of the cells and cell-cell interactions been validated in various benchmarks.

RBC stretch

In a number of simulations, an RBC is stretched pulling on two opposite points on its membrane with a force F. The changes in length and width of the simulated RBC agree well with what has been measured in experiments using optical tweezers.