Red Blood Cell Mechanical Stability


It has been well documented that shear forces effective above a certain magnitude under flow conditions causes damage in blood cells. This damage ranges from slight morphological alteration to the destruction of red blood cells (RBC). The hemolytic trauma to RBC can easily be detected by measuring free hemoglobin level in plasma, however there are no standardized protocols to quantitate subhemolytic trauma. Ektacytometry has been used to study the alterations in RBC mechanical properties induced by the application of shear stress at various levels. Additionally, a protocol for measuring the hemolytic threshold as an indicator of subhemolytic damage to RBC has been developed based on ektacytometry. These standardized protocols may find applications in the pre-clinical and clinical evaluation of artificial organs and biomedical devices contacting with blood.

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O. Baskurt, "Red Blood Cell Mechanical Stability," Engineering, Vol. 4 No. 10B, 2012, pp. 8-10. doi: 10.4236/eng.2012.410B003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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