Fluid Drop-Like Transition of Erythrocytes under Shear

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Science  18 Jul 1969:
Vol. 165, Issue 3890, pp. 288-291
DOI: 10.1126/science.165.3890.288


Red cells dispersed in a continuous medium of high viscosity possess the flow properties of fluid drops. The cells at rest are biconcave, while under shear they become progressively deformed into prolate ellipsoids, their long axis aligned parallel to the flow direction. The red cell membrane rotates around the hemoglobin like a tread of a tank. At high rates of shear this mechanism greatly reduces viscosity at all hematocrit values.

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