Send to

Choose Destination
Biophys J. 2002 Oct;83(4):1917-33.

Neutrophil transit times through pulmonary capillaries: the effects of capillary geometry and fMLP-stimulation.

Author information

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Division of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139, USA.


The deformations of neutrophils as they pass through the pulmonary microcirculation affect their transit time, their tendency to contact and interact with the endothelial surface, and potentially their degree of activation. Here we model the cell as a viscoelastic Maxwell material bounded by constant surface tension and simulate indentation experiments to quantify the effects of (N-formyl-L-methionyl-L-leucyl-L-phenylalanine (fMLP)-stimulation on its mechanical properties (elastic shear modulus and viscosity). We then simulate neutrophil transit through individual pulmonary capillary segments to determine the relative effects of capillary geometry and fMLP-stimulation on transit time. Indentation results indicate that neutrophil viscosity and shear modulus increase by factors of 3.4, for 10(-9) M fMLP, and 7.3, for 10(-6) M fMLP, over nonstimulated cell values, determined to be 30.8 Pa.s and 185 Pa, respectively. Capillary flow results indicate that capillary entrance radius of curvature has a significant effect on cell transit time, in addition to minimum capillary radius and neutrophil stimulation level. The relative effects of capillary geometry and fMLP on neutrophil transit time are presented as a simple dimensionless expression and their physiological significance is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center