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Optical Engineering

Stress-induced rigidification of erythrocytes as determined by laser diffraction and image analysis
Author(s): Guido Wolf; Rainer Bayer; Dieter Ostuni
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Paper Abstract

An apparatus to measure red cell deformability, the laser diffractoscope, is presented. As in ektacytometry, the apparatus generates diffraction patterns using a laser beam that passes through a red blood cell (RBC) suspension in a viscosimeter. Introducing a CCD camera to record the diffraction pattern and computer-aided image analysis has reduced the measurement error to below 1% (variation coefficient). Employing this apparatus we have studied the effects of mechanical stress on RBC deformability in vitro. We submitted the erythrocytes to different shear stresses of various magnitudes (260 to 2620/s, viscosity of suspending medium 24 cP) and variable duration 1 to 16 mm). We demonstrate that a high mechanical stress reduces deformability at low shear rates but does not influence elongation at high shear rates and that the rigidification is related to mechanical stress in a dose-dependent manner. The period of exposure as well as the degree of mechanical stress influences the extent of deformability loss. We also show that RBC rigidification accumulates if mechanical stress is applied repetitively, the cells could not recover from this stress, below a certain threshold (1100/s, 24 cP) shearing does not produce any loss of flexibility, and the decrease of deformability is not accompanied with detectable hemolysis. It is suggested that the shear-induced rigidification is due to rearrangements in the cytoskeleton of the erythrocyte.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 1992
PDF: 7 pages
Opt. Eng. 31(7) doi: 10.1117/12.58765
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 31, Issue 7
Show Author Affiliations
Guido Wolf, Heinrich-Heine University (Germany)
Rainer Bayer, Heinrich-Heine Univ. (Germany)
Dieter Ostuni, Heinrich-Heine University (Germany)


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