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Biophys J. 1971 Mar;11(3):252-64.

Blood flow, slip, and viscometry.


The viscosity of blood, measured by the usual viscometers in which slip is not considered, is found to be flow dependent, varying markedly with shear rate, pressure gradient, and vessel diameter in the lower ranges of these factors. The study postulates, on grounds thought reasonable, that slip may be present in blood flow, as a function of the nature of the wall surfaces, shear stress at the wall, and relative cell volume (RCV) adjacent to the wall. It presumes that blood possesses a specific, flow-independent viscosity, and determines theoretically the viscosity indications of viscometers if blood slipped in the instruments. The study shows that if the slip function is of a certain plausible form, these viscosity indications would exhibit a flow dependence of much the same pattern as the actual indications supplied by the usual viscometers. The slip postulate permits, therefore, an interpretation of the "anomalous" flow behavior of blood, dispensing with the prevailing assumption of an ad hoc variability of its viscosity with flow factors. To the extent that viscometric data for blood may be representative of other non-newtonian fluids, the slip postulate may be applicable to these fluids.

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