Current Research: Hemorheology in Microchannels
We often consider the flexible, biconcave human erythrocyte (red blood cell) as "perfectly" suited for the variety of flow conditions it will encounter in vivo, from Reynolds number of ~2000 near the heart to contorting through capillaries nearly half the cell's diameter. However, current fluid dynamics literature largely ignores both the significant variation in erythrocyte size across mammalian species (~4-12 microns) as well the shape variation seen in oviparous vertebrates. In addition, within channel diameters of 10-300 microns, blood exhibits unique behaviors via the Fahraeus and Fahraeus-Lindqvist effects. We seek to understand the role of erythrocyte size and shape within the context of these effects with the goal of better control and manipulation of blood flow in microfluidic devices.