A 3D numerical study of the effect of channel height on leukocyte deformation and adhesion in parallel-plate flow chambers.
The effect of channel height on leukocyte adhesion to a lower plate in a parallel-plate flow chamber is studied by direct numerical simulations in three dimensions. The numerical model takes into account deformability and viscoelasticity of the leukocyte, membrane ruffles (microvilli), and the presence of mechanically different regions inside the cell (nucleus and cytoplasm). Leukocyte adhesion is assumed to be mediated by interactions of adhesion molecules on the tips of microvilli with their counterparts on the lower plate. Results of this study indicate that an adherent leukocyte experiences much less drag than a rigid sphere due to its deformation and transient stress growth. While overall leukocyte deformation is modest at shear stresses encountered in the microcirculation, deformation in the contact region is significant. At fixed wall shear stress, the contact area of the cell membrane with the substrate increases with increasing the ratio of cell diameter to channel height, leading to greater adhesion. This suggests that in vitro flow chamber studies typically underestimate leukocyte adhesion that occurs in the microcirculation.
Khismatullin, DB; Truskey, GA
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