Dynamics of blood flow: modeling of the Fåhræus–Lindqvist effect

Rachid Chebbi

Abstract:

To model the Fåhræus–Lindqvist effect, Haynes’ marginal zone theory is used, following previous works, i.e., a core layer of uniform red blood cells (RBCs) is assumed to be surrounded by an annular plasma layer in which no RBCs are present. A simplified trial-and-error solution procedure is provided to determine the size of the core region and the hematocrit level in that zone in addition to the apparent viscosity, given the (upstream) large vessel hematocrit level and the average hematocrit level in the (downstream) small vessel. To test the model, a set of experimental data is selected to provide not only apparent viscosity data but also the average hematocrit levels in small tubes of different diameters. The results are found to support Haynes’ marginal theory, with no fitting parameters used in the computations. Viscous dissipation is determined. The use of the mechanical energy balance is found to lead to results that are consistent with those based on the momentum balance, while leaving the average hematocrit level undetermined and required by either experimental data or an additional equation based on further theoretical work. The present analysis is used to model bifurcation using published empirical correlations quantifying the Fåhræus effect and phase separation. The model equations are extended to microvascular networks with repeated bifurcations.

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