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Ann Biomed Eng. 2008 Apr;36(4):534-44. doi: 10.1007/s10439-007-9429-0. Epub 2008 Jan 11.

Blood cell interactions and segregation in flow.

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  • 1E.L. Steele Laboratory, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 100 Blossom St., COX 7, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


For more than a century, pioneering researchers have been using novel experimental and computational approaches to probe the mysteries of blood flow. Thanks to their efforts, we know that blood cells generally prefer to migrate to the axis of flow, that red and white cells segregate in flow, and that cell deformability and their tendency to reversibly aggregate contribute to the non-Newtonian nature of this unique fluid. All of these properties have beneficial physiological consequences, allowing blood to perform a variety of critical functions. Our current understanding of these unusual flow properties of blood have been made possible by the ingenuity and diligence of a number of researchers, including Harry Goldsmith, who developed novel technologies to visualize and quantify the flow of blood at the level of individual cells. Here we summarize efforts in our lab to continue this tradition and to further our understanding of how blood cells interact with each other and with the blood vessel wall.

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