A kinetic equation for rouleau formation in a simple shear flow is derived, based on several assumptions. These are (a) colliding rouleaux stick to one another with a certain probability to form a single rouleau; (b) simultaneous collisions between more than two rouleaux are negligible; (c) rouleaux are broken by a viscous force exerted by the suspending fluid on the surfaces of rouleaux; (d) when a rouleau is broken by viscous forces, only two fragments are formed. Based on a simple mathematical model, collsion rate, sticking probability and degradation rate are obtained as functions of applied shear rate. From the solution of the kinetic equation, the average size of rouleaux is obtained as a function of time with shear rate as a parameter. It is shown that the average size of rouleaux increases monotonically with increasing time and tends to an equilibrium size. The average size of rouleaux in a dynamical equilibrium decreases monotonically with increasing shear rate and tends to one cell as shear rate approaches infinity. It is also found that the initial rate of rouleau formation increases with increasing shear rate at very low shear rate, but this trend is reversed at higher shear rates. The theoretical results are compared quantitatively with experimental data.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)