Effect of nonaxisymmetric hematocrit distribution on non-Newtonian blood flow in small tubes

B. Das, P. C. Johnson, A. S. Popel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Hematocrit distribution and red blood cell aggregation are the major determinants of blood flow in narrow tubes at low flow rates. It has been observed experimentally that in microcirculation the hematocrit distribution is not uniform. This nonuniformity may result from plasma skimming and cell screening effects and also from red cell sedimentation. The goal of the present study is to understand the effect of nonaxisymmetric hematocrit distribution on the flow of human and cat blood in small blood vessels of the microcirculation. Blood vessels are modeled as circular cylindrical tubes. Human blood is described by Quemada's rheological model, in which local viscosity is a function of both the local hematocrit and a structural parameter that is related to the size of red blood cell aggregates. Cat blood is described by Casson's model. Eccentric hematocrit distribution is considered such that the axis of the cylindrical core region of red cell suspension is parallel to the axis of the blood vessel but not coincident. The problem is solved numerically by using finite element method. The calculations predict nonaxisymmetric distribution of velocity and shear stress in the blood vessel and the increase of apparent viscosity with increasing eccentricity of the core.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-87
Number of pages19
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • Casson model
  • Mathematical model
  • Nonaxisymmetric hematocrit distribution
  • Quemada model
  • Red cell aggregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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