Microbubble moving in blood flow in microchannels: effect on the cell-free layer and cell local concentration

  • David Bento
  • Lúcia Sousa
  • Tomoko Yaginuma
  • Valdemar Garcia
  • Rui Lima
  • João M. Miranda
Article

Abstract

Gas embolisms can hinder blood flow and lead to occlusion of the vessels and ischemia. Bubbles in microvessels circulate as tubular bubbles (Taylor bubbles) and can be trapped, blocking the normal flow of blood. To understand how Taylor bubbles flow in microcirculation, in particular, how bubbles disturb the blood flow at the scale of blood cells, experiments were performed in microchannels at a low Capillary number. Bubbles moving with a stream of in vitro blood were filmed with the help of a high-speed camera. Cell-free layers (CFLs) were observed downstream of the bubble, near the microchannel walls and along the centerline, and their thicknesses were quantified. Upstream to the bubble, the cell concentration is higher and CFLs are less clear. While just upstream of the bubble the maximum RBC concentration happens at positions closest to the wall, downstream the maximum is in an intermediate region between the centerline and the wall. Bubbles within microchannels promote complex spatio-temporal variations of the CFL thickness along the microchannel with significant relevance for local rheology and transport processes. The phenomenon is explained by the flow pattern characteristic of low Capillary number flows. Spatio-temporal variations of blood rheology may have an important role in bubble trapping and dislodging.

Keywords

Microfluidics Gas embolism Cell-free layer Red blood cells In vitro blood Micro bubble 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the financial support provided by PTDC/SAU-BEB/105650/2008, PTDC/SAU-ENB/116929/2010, EXPL/EMS-SIS/2215/2013 and PTDC/QEQ-FTT/4287/2014 from FCT (Science and Technology Foundation), COMPETE, QREN and European Union (FEDER).

Supplementary material

10544_2016_138_MOESM1_ESM.avi (869 kb)
ESM 1 (AVI 869 kb)
10544_2016_138_MOESM2_ESM.avi (5.2 mb)
ESM 2 (AVI 5335 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Bento
    • 1
    • 3
  • Lúcia Sousa
    • 1
  • Tomoko Yaginuma
    • 1
  • Valdemar Garcia
    • 1
  • Rui Lima
    • 2
    • 3
  • João M. Miranda
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Technology and Management (ESTiG)Polytechnic Institute of Bragança (IPB)BragançaPortugal
  2. 2.MEtRiS, Department of Mechanical EngineeringMinho UniversityGuimarãesPortugal
  3. 3.Transport Phenomena Research Center (CEFT), Department of Chemical Engineering, Engineering FacultyUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal

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