Rheological behavior of human blood in uniaxial extensional flow

Sousa, P. C. and Vaz, R. and Cerejo, A. and Oliveira, M. S. N. and Alves, M. A. and Pinho, F. T. (2018) Rheological behavior of human blood in uniaxial extensional flow. Journal of Rheology, 62 (2). pp. 447-456. ISSN 1520-8516 (https://doi.org/10.1122/1.4998704)

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We present an investigation of the rheological behavior of whole human blood under uniaxial extensional flow. For that purpose, capillary breakup experiments were carried out by combining the slow retraction method, high-speed imaging techniques and an immiscible oil bath. The use of the oil bath was aimed at reducing liquid loss by evaporation and to reduce light refraction effects, thus allowing the visualization of the blood cells during the filament thinning. Extensional relaxation times were measured for whole blood samples collected from a total of thirteen healthy adult volunteers from both genders, with hematocrit levels between 38.7% and 46.3%. For this range of red blood cell concentrations, the variation of the extensional relaxation time is small, with the average extensional relaxation times measured in air and in oil being 114±30 μs and 259±47 μs, respectively. An increase of the red blood cells concentration leads to an increase of the bulk viscosity of the sample, which delays the thinning of the filament and consequently the time to breakup. In addition, blood aging was found to reduce the relaxation time while the absence of anticoagulant increases it significantly.