Three dimensional simulation of dynamics and deformation of red blood cells in capillary flow

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



A three-dimensional computational model using dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) is developed to simulate dynamics and deformation of red cells (RBC) in capillaries. DPD is able to produce correct hydrodynamics of the flow and incorporate microscopic detail of various segments of the cell. RBC is constructed using DPD particles, which are connected by a spring network to represent the membrane. The total energy of the RBC is associated with the bending energy, in-plane shear energy and the constraints of fixed area and volume. Shape optimization of swollen RBC due to continuous deflation based on the minimum energy principle is conducted to obtain the biconcave shape in equilibrium. Then, an external force is applied to the cell to study the large deformation in axial and lateral direction and compared with the experimental results. Also, RBC is placed inside a 10 mm capillary flow to study the dynamics and deformation of the cell. The cell undergoes steady deformation and acquires parachute type shape as observed in experiments. Copyright © 2010 by ASME.

Publication Title

ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)