Blood platelets are concentrated near the wall and red blood cells, in the center in flowing blood.
Hematocrit and vessel wall shear rate are important factors in the transport and subsequent adherence of platelets to vessel wall subendothelium. When mass transport theory is applied to platelets in flowing blood, the blood is usually considered to be a fluid with platelet and red cell wall concentrations similar to the average tube concentration. With the laser-Doppler technique, we found how red blood cell ghosts and platelets were distributed radially for various hematocrits and wall shear rates. Red cell ghosts are crowded near the axis of the tube, with a local hematocrit higher than the average tube hematocrit, and they decrease steadily toward the wall. In the absence of ghosts, platelets exhibit the 'tubular pinch' effect (rigid particles crowding at 0.6 x tube radius). In the presence of ghosts, the platelets are expelled toward the wall region. This high concentration at the wall increases with higher average tube hematocrit and wall shear rates. Increasing the average tube platelet concentration 10 times causes the wall concentration to increase only three times. The increase in platelet adherence observed with increasing hematocrit and increasing wall shear rate can be partially ascribed to increased platelet concentration near the wall. The observation that the increased platelet concentration does not fully explain the platelet adherence data suggests that platelet transport may also be enhanced by a shear rate-dependent rotary motion.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association