The retinal arterial network is the only source of the highly nutrient-consumptive retina, thus any insult on the arteries can impair the retinal oxygen and nutrient supply and affect its normal function. The aim of this work is to study the influences of vascular structure variation on the flow and pressure characteristics via microfluidic devices. Two sets of micro-channel were designed to mimic the stenosed microvessels and dichotomous branching structure in the retinal arteries. Three working fluids including red blood cell (RBC) suspension were employed to investigate the pressure drop in the stenosed channel. The flow behaviors of RBC suspensions inside the micro channels were observed using high speed camera system. Pressure drop of different working fluids and RBC velocity profiles in the stenosed channel were obtained. Moreover, hematocrit levels of RBC suspensions inside the bifurcated channels were analyzed from the sequential images of RBC flow. The results of the flow in the stenosed channel show that RBCs drift from the center of the channels, and RBC velocity is influenced not only by the inlet flow rate but also the interaction between RBCs. The measured pressure drops in the stenosed channel increase notably with the increase of fluid viscosity. Furthermore, the dimensionless pressure drop due to the stenosis decreases with Reynolds number. On the other hand, the results of flow through the bifurcated channels show that as the ratio of the daughter-branch width to the mother-channel width increases, the ratio of hematocrit in two connected branches (Ht/Hd) decreases, which is in favorable agreement with the available analysis results.
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