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Dynamics of a large population of red blood cells under shear flow

  • C. Minetti (a1), V. Audemar (a2), T. Podgorski (a2) and G. Coupier (a2)


An exhaustive description of the dynamics under shear flow of a large number of red blood cells in a dilute regime is proposed, which highlights and takes into account the dispersion in cell properties within a given blood sample. Physiological suspending fluid viscosity is considered, a configuration surprisingly seldom considered in experimental studies, as well as a more viscous fluid that is a reference in the literature. Stable and unstable flipping motions well described by Jeffery orbits or modified Jeffery orbits are identified, as well as transitions to and from tank-treading motion in the more viscous suspending fluid case. Hysteresis loops upon shear rate increase or decrease are highlighted for the transitions between unstable and stable orbits as well as for the transition between flipping and tank-treading. We identify which of the characteristic parameters of motion and of the transition thresholds depend on flow stress only or also on suspending fluid viscosity.


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