M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentKorin Netanel
SubjectThe Motion and Deformation of Red Blood Cells in
Micro-channels - Application to Micro-Fabircated
DepartmentDepartment of Biomedical Engineering
Supervisor PROFESSOR EMERITUS Uri Dinnar (Deceased)


In this work, we developed a model of the motion and deformation of RBC in a microchannel suitable for modeling micro-fabricated Rheoscopy and Ektacytometry. The model focuses on the relation between RBC's properties (such as: surface area, hemoglobin viscosity, and viscoelastic properties of the membrane) and the deformation it undergoes. Other factors which are examined include the micro-channel size and the ambient fluid properties. The model incorporates fluid dynamics and membrane mechanics to determine RBC motion and deformation in a micro-channel. The orientation of a defined ellipsoid micro-capsule and the traction applied to it are solved using analytical fluid mechanics. The cell shape is obtained using a numerical mechanical model which computes the deformation of the cell as a function of the traction.

We have validated the model on the results of conventional Ektacytometry and explored the influence of RBC properties such as: initial shape, membrane shear modulus and inner fluid viscosity on Ektacytometer results. We have characterized the effect of each of these parameters on Ektacytometer results. In addition, we modeled flow Ektacytometry, studied the parameters which affect the results and compared the results to traditional Ektacytometry measurements.

In order to further study RBC flow in microchannels and examine the subject experimentally, an automated Rhoescope system was developed. Hence, using the model and the system normal RBC and pathological RBC can be examined, theoretically and experimentally, under various conditions and environments e.g. channel cross section, flow rates, osmolarities and medium viscosity.