Experimental and computational studies were performed to elucidate the role of turbulent stresses in mechanical blood damage (hemolysis). A suspension of bovine red blood cells (RBC) was driven through a closed circulating loop by a centrifugal pump. A small capillary tube (inner diameter 1 mm and length 70 mm) was incorporated into the circulating loop via tapered connectors. The suspension of RBCs was diluted with saline to achieve an asymptotic apparent viscosity of 2.0 ± 0.1 cP at 23°C to produce turbulent flow at nominal flow rate and pressure. To study laminar flow at the identical wall shear stresses in the same capillary tube, the apparent viscosity of the RBC suspension was increased to 6.3 ± 0.1 cP (at 23°C) by addition of Dextran-40. Using various combinations of driving pressure and Dextran mediated adjustments in dynamic viscosity Reynolds numbers ranging from 300-5,000 were generated, and rates of hemolysis were measured. Pilot studies were performed to verify that the suspension media did not affect mechanical fragility of the RBCs. The results of these bench studies demonstrated that, at the same wall shear stress in a capillary tube, the level of hemolysis was significantly greater (p < 0.05) for turbulent flow as compared with laminar flow. This confirmed that turbulent stresses contribute strongly to blood mechanical trauma. Numerical predictions of hemolysis obtained by computational fluid dynamic modeling were in good agreement with these experimental data.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2004 Sep|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering