Organic and inorganic equivalent models for analysis of red blood cell mechanical behaviour

Seid Mohammad Atifeh, Keith Davey, Hamed Sadeghi, Rooholamin Darvizeh, Abolfazl Darvizeh

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Experimental investigation into the mechanical response of red blood cells is presently impeded with the main impediments being the micro dimensions involved and ethical issues associated with in vivo testing. The widely employed alternative approach of computational modelling suffers from its own inherent limitations being reliant on precise constitutive and boundary information. Moreover, and somewhat critically, numerical computational models themselves are required to be validated by means of experimentation and hence suffer similar impediments. An alternative experimental approach is examined in this paper involving large-scale equivalent models manufactured principally from inorganic, and to lesser extent organic, materials. Although there presently exists no known method providing the means to investigate the mechanical response of red blood cells using scaled models simultaneously having different dimensions and materials, the present paper aims to develop a scaled framework based on the new finite-similitude theory that has appeared in the recent open literature. Computational models are employed to test the effectiveness of the proposed method, which in principle can provide experimental solution methods to a wide range of practical applications including the design of red-blood cell nanorobots and drug delivery systems. By means of experimentally validated numerical experiments under impact loading it is revealed that although exact prediction is not achieved good accuracy can nevertheless be obtained. Furthermore, it is demonstrated how the proposed approach for first time provides a means to relate models at different scales founded on different constitutive equations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104868
JournalJournal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials
Early online date30 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Finite similitude
  • Hyper-elastic constitutive equations
  • Red blood cells
  • Rubbers
  • Scaling


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