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Hybrid continuum–coarse-grained modeling of erythrocytes

Abstract : The red blood cell (RBC) membrane is a composite structure, consisting of a phospholipid bilayer and an underlying membrane-associated cytoskeleton. Both continuum and particle-based coarse-grained RBC models make use of a set of vertices connected by edges to represent the RBC membrane, which can be seen as a triangular surface mesh for the former and a spring network for the latter. Here, we present a modeling approach combining an existing continuum vesicle model with a coarse-grained model for the cytoskeleton. Compared to other two-component approaches, our method relies on only one mesh, representing the cytoskeleton, whose velocity in the tangential direction of the membrane may be different from that of the lipid bilayer. The finitely extensible nonlinear elastic (FENE) spring force law in combination with a repulsive force defined as a power function (POW), called FENE-POW, is used to describe the elastic properties of the RBC membrane. The mechanical interaction between the lipid bilayer and the cytoskeleton is explicitly computed and incorporated into the vesicle model. Our model includes the fundamental mechanical properties of the RBC membrane, namely fluidity and bending rigidity of the lipid bilayer, and shear elasticity of the cytoskeleton while maintaining surface-area and volume conservation constraint. We present three simulation examples to demonstrate the effectiveness of this hybrid continuum--coarse-grained model for the study of RBCs in fluid flows.
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Contributor : Paul Gang Chen <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 4, 2018 - 1:35:04 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 10:25:59 PM

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Jinming Lyu, Paul G. Chen, Gwenn Boedec, Marc Leonetti, Marc Jaeger. Hybrid continuum–coarse-grained modeling of erythrocytes. Comptes Rendus Mécanique, Elsevier Masson, 2018, 346, pp.439-448. ⟨10.1016/j.crme.2018.04.015⟩. ⟨hal-01785429⟩



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