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Écoulements de suspensions concentrées de globules rouges en micro-canaux : étude expérimentale

Abstract : Blood is a concentrated suspension (45% by volume) of deformable red blood cells, flowing in a Newtonian fluid called plasma. The microcirculation is the part of the blood circulation system where the exchanges of material (e.g. nutrients, oxygen) between the blood and tissues take place. The microvessels are characterized by diameters less than 100 microns, which is similar in size to the size of a red blood cell (about 10 microns). As a result, the presence of these cells considerably influences the dynamics of microvascular flows and induces complex rheological behaviors. In particular, at diverging microvascular bifurcations, red blood cells and plasma may be nonproportionally distributed between two daughter vessels : one gets a higher red blood cell volume fraction (hematocrit) than the feeding vessel, while the other gets a lower one. This effect, known as the phase separation effect, causes a tremendous heterogeneity of the hematocrit among vessels in microvascular networks and induces a coupling between the microvascular architecture and the blood flow dynamics. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the phase separation effect in vitro, in physiological conditions, using red blood cell suspensions and microfluidic devices modeling microvascular bifurcations. For this purpose, a microfluidic experimental device was first developed. Then the metrological aspects specific to concentrated suspensions were addressed in order to quantify all the flow parameters. In particular, the dual-slit technique has been understood and optimized, ensuring accurate measurement of velocity profiles of red blood cells in microchannels. Measurement methods for our experimental conditions were also implemented to determine the hematocrit. All these techniques have been validated by verification of the principle of mass conservation between the three branches of a bifurcation. They allowed us to characterize the flow of red blood cells in microchannels of different sizes (10 to 100 microns) and for wide ranges of flow rates and concentrations. Finally, the flow of red blood cell suspensions was investigated at micro-bifurcations, with the aim of characterizing the phase separation effect for channel sizes and hematocrit ranges never studied in controlled flow conditions.
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  • HAL Id : tel-01692579, version 1

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Sophie Roman. Écoulements de suspensions concentrées de globules rouges en micro-canaux : étude expérimentale. Biomécanique [physics.med-ph]. Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT, 2012. Français. ⟨tel-01692579⟩

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