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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 1801403, 16 pages
Research Article

A Two-Dimensional Numerical Investigation of Transport of Malaria-Infected Red Blood Cells in Stenotic Microchannels

1Department of Mathematics, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 210016, China
2School of Electronic Science and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China

Received 28 August 2016; Revised 12 November 2016; Accepted 23 November 2016

Academic Editor: Hiroaki Hirata

Copyright © 2016 Tong Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The malaria-infected red blood cells experience a significant decrease in cell deformability and increase in cell membrane adhesion. Blood hemodynamics in microvessels is significantly affected by the alteration of the mechanical property as well as the aggregation of parasitized red blood cells. In this study, we aim to numerically study the connection between cell-level mechanobiological properties of human red blood cells and related malaria disease state by investigating the transport of multiple red blood cell aggregates passing through microchannels with symmetric stenosis. Effects of stenosis magnitude, aggregation strength, and cell deformability on cell rheology and flow characteristics were studied by a two-dimensional model using the fictitious domain-immersed boundary method. The results indicated that the motion and dissociation of red blood cell aggregates were influenced by these factors and the flow resistance increases with the increase of aggregating strength and cell stiffness. Further, the roughness of the velocity profile was enhanced by cell aggregation, which considerably affected the blood flow characteristics. The study may assist us in understanding cellular-level mechanisms in disease development.