Sickle-cell anaemia (SCA) is an inherited blood disorder exhibiting heterogeneous cell morphology and abnormal rheology, especially under hypoxic conditions. By using a multiscale red blood cell (RBC) model with parameters derived from patient-specific data, we present a mesoscopic computational study of the haemodynamic and rheological characteristics of blood from SCA patients with hydroxyurea (HU) treatment (on-HU) and those without HU treatment (off-HU). We determine the shear viscosity of blood in health as well as in different states of disease. Our results suggest that treatment with HU improves or worsens the rheological characteristics of blood in SCA depending on the degree of hypoxia. However, on-HU groups always have higher levels of haematocrit-to-viscosity ratio (HVR) than off-HU groups, indicating that HU can indeed improve the oxygen transport potential of blood. Our patient-specific computational simulations suggest that the HVR level, rather than the shear viscosity of sickle RBC suspensions, may be a more reliable indicator in assessing the response to HU treatment.
One contribution of 19 to a theme issue ‘Integrated multiscale biomaterials experiment and modelling: towards function and pathology’.
- © 2015 The Author(s)