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Computational Modeling of Human Leukocyte

[+] Author Affiliations
Saikrishna Marella, H. S. Udaykumar

University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Paper No. IMECE2002-32578, pp. 261-262; 2 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Advances in Bioengineering
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Bioengineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3650-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


Leukocytes (white blood cells) occupy only about 1/600th of blood by volume [1,2]. However, in view of the fact that leukocytes are larger and much stiffer than red blood cells, their presence is critical to the fluid mechanics of blood flow in the peripheral blood vessels, where the vessel diameters are comparable to those of the cells. These circulating cells must navigate through narrow micro-capillaries and recover to their undeformed spherical shape. Leukocytes act as the first line of defense in fighting disease. Leukocyte recruitment for this role involves a series of steps, including margination to vessel walls, rolling, adhesion to the endothelium, activation and locomotion and extravasation through the vessel wall to the tissue, which is afflicted by the trauma. Because the leukocyte is stiff and difficult to deform it can plug occluded micro-capillaries, leading to events such as ischemic stroke. Furthermore, leukocyte agglomeration and subsequent emolization can have serious consequences in patients under trauma, causing organ loss or even fatalities due to ischemia reperfusion injury. In these various scenarios, the rheological behavior, i.e. the physics of deformation and recovery of leukocytes under a wide variety of imposed flows, is essential.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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