The bulk rheology of close-packed red blood cells in shear flow

T. W. Secomb, S. Chien, K. M. Jan, R. Skalak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A theoretical analysis is made of the dynamical behavior and bulk rheology of close-packed red blood cell suspensions subjected to simple shear flow. The model for the polyhedral cell shapes and tank-treading membrane motion developed in the companion paper is used. The flow in the thin lubricating plasma layers between cells is analyzed taking into account the mechanical properties of the membrane at the corner regions of sharp membrane curvature. This leads to predictions for the apparent viscosity as a function of hematocrit and shear rate. Good agreement with experimental results is obtained at moderate and high shear rates (above 20 s-1). At lower shear rates, a rapid rise in apparent viscosity has been found experimentally, and the mechanisms leading to this behavior are examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-309
Number of pages15
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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