Shear-dependent aggregation characteristics of red blood cells in a pressure-driven microfluidic channel

S. Shin, M. S. Park, Y. H. Ku, J. S. Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Though the aggregation of red blood cells (RBCs) is a major determinant of blood viscosity, there have not been any available techniques to measure the effect of RBC aggregation on blood viscosity over a range of shear rates. The microfluidic shearing technique with vibration has been applied to an aggregometer for measuring the dynamic aggregation characteristic of RBCs. In measuring backscattered light intensity I(t) and pressure p(t) over time, both aggregation and the stress-shear rate information can be determined simultaneously. The feasibility and accuracy of the new aggregation measurement technique has been demonstrated to correlate with blood viscosity for normal and heated blood. We found that RBC aggregability showed shear-dependent behavior, which can be correlated directly with shear-thinning blood viscosity. The present measurements of the dynamic aggregation characteristic over shear rate enable the interpretation of the shear-rate dependent blood viscosity, which is greatly affected by RBC aggregation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-361
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Aggregation
  • Microfluidics
  • Red blood cell
  • Shear
  • Vibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hematology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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