Cellular-level near-wall unsteadiness of high-hematocrit erythrocyte flow using confocal μpIV

Michael J. Patrick, Chia Yuan Chen, David Frakes, Onur Dur, Kerem Pekkan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


In hemodynamics, the inherent intermittency of two-phase cellular-level flow has received little attention. Unsteadiness is reported and quantified for the first time in the literature using a combination of fluorescent dye labeling, time-resolved scanning confocal microscopy, and micro-particle image velocimetry (μPIV). The near-wall red blood cell (RBC) motion of physiologic high-hematocrit blood in a rectangular microchannel was investigated under pressure-driven flow. Intermittent flow was associated with (1) the stretching of RBCs as they passed through RBC clusters with twisting motions; (2) external flow through local obstacles; and (3) transitionary rouleaux formations. Velocity profiles are presented for these cases. Unsteady flow clustered in local regions. Extra-cellular fluid flow generated by individual RBCs was examined using submicron fluorescent microspheres. The capabilities of confocal μPIV post-processing were verified using synthetic raw PIV data for validation. Cellular interactions and oscillating velocity profiles are presented, and 3D data are made available for computational model validation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)887-904
Number of pages18
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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