Characterization at the individual cell level and in whole blood samples of shear stress preventing red blood cells aggregation

K. Lee, M. Kinnunen, A. V. Danilina, V. D. Ustinov, S. Shin, I. Meglinski, A. V. Priezzhev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The aggregation of red blood cells (RBC) is an intrinsic feature of blood that has a strong impact on its microcirculation. For a number of years it has been attracting a great attention in basic research and clinical studies. Here, we study a relationship between the RBC aggregation parameters measured at the individual cell level and in a whole blood sample. The home made optical tweezers were used to measure the aggregating and disaggregating forces for a pair of interacting RBCs, at the individual cell level, in order to evaluate the corresponding shear stresses. The RheoScan aggregometer was used for the measurements of critical shear stress (CSS) in whole blood samples. The correlation between CSS and the shear stress required to stop an RBC pair from aggregating was found. The shear stress required to disaggregate a pair of RBCs using the double channel optical tweezers appeared to be about 10 times higher than CSS. The correlation between shear stresses required to prevent RBCs from aggregation at the individual cell level and in whole blood samples was estimated and assessed quantitatively. The experimental approach developed has a high potential for advancing hemorheological studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1021-1026
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 3

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant of Russian Science Foundation No. 14-15-00602 . KL acknowledges support by the mobility grant of Academy of Finland No. 279833 enabling him to conduct preliminary measurements at the Opto-Electronics and Measurement Techniques Research Unit of the University of Oulu. The authors thank Dr. Martin Leahy for his valuable comments.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Critical shear stress
  • Disaggregating shear stress
  • Optical tweezers
  • Red blood cell aggregating force
  • Red blood cell aggregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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