Computational fluid dynamics of aggregating red blood cells in postcapillary venules

Bong Chung, Sangho Kim, Paul C. Johnson, Aleksander S. Popel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Aggregate formation of red blood cells (RBCs) in a postcapillary venular bifurcation is investigated with three-dimensional computer simulations using the Chimera grid method. Interaction energy between the RBCs is modelled by a depletion interaction theory; RBCs are modelled as rigid oblate ellipsoids. The cell-cell interactions of RBCs are strongly dependent on vessel geometry and shear rates. The experimental data on vessel geometry, pseudoshear rates, and Dextran concentration obtained in our previous in vivo RBC aggregation study in postcapillary venules of the rat spinotrapezius muscle were used to simulate RBC aggregation. The computational results were compared to the experimental results from the in vivo study. The results show that cells have a larger tendency to form an aggregate under reduced flows. Aggregate formation also depends on the angle and location of the cells before they enter the bifurcation region. Comparisons with experimental data are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-397
Number of pages13
JournalComputer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009


  • Chimera grid
  • Depletion interaction energy
  • Postcapillary venule
  • RBC aggregation
  • Red blood cell


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