Christian Spieker, Gábor Závodszky, Max van der Kolk & Alfons Hoekstra have published a new paper on the effects of local vessel curvature on platelet adhesion in the Virtual Physiological Human special issue of the Annals of Biomedical Engineering.
The emerging profile of blood flow and the cross-sectional distribution of blood cells have far reaching biological consequences in various diseases and vital internal processes, such as platelet adhesion. The effects of several essential blood flow parameters, such as red blood cell free layer width, wall shear rate, and hematocrit on platelet adhesion were previously explored to great lengths in straight geometries. In the current work, the effects of channel curvature on cellular blood flow are investigated by simulating the accurate cellular movement and interaction of red blood cells and platelets in a half-arc channel for multiple wall shear rate and hematocrit values. The results show significant differences in the emerging shear rate values and distributions between the inner and outer arc of the channel curve, while the cell distributions remain predominantly uninfluenced. The simulation predictions are also compared to experimental platelet adhesion in a similar curved geometry. The inner side of the arc shows elevated platelet adhesion intensity at high wall shear rate, which correlates with increased shear rate and shear rate gradient sites in the simulation. Furthermore, since the platelet availability for binding seems uninfluenced by the curvature, these effects might influence the binding mechanics rather than the probability. The presence of elongational flows is detected in the simulations and the link to increased platelet adhesion is discussed in the experimental results.
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