Blood flow & suspensions of deformable particles


Blood is a fascinating example of a dense suspension. 45% of its volume consists of red blood cells (erythrocytes) as well as a small fraction of white blood cells (leukocytes) and platelets (thrombocytes). Red blood cells are strongly deformable and can adapt to the varying diameters of blood vessels. This is of particular importance in capillaries whose diameter is smaller than that of the red blood cells. Also the rheology of blood is greatly affected by the flexibility of the cells.

Figure: dense suspension of deformable red blood cells in shear flow

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