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Shape transition and hydrodynamics of vesicles in tube flow

Abstract : The steady motion and deformation of a lipid-bilayer vesicle translating through a circular tube in low Reynolds number pressure-driven flow are investigated numerically using an axisymmetric boundary element method. This fluid-structure interaction problem is determined by three dimen-sionless parameters: reduced volume (a measure of the vesicle asphericity), geometric confinement (the ratio of the vesicle effective radius to the tube radius), and capillary number (the ratio of viscous to bending forces). The physical constraints of a vesicle-fixed surface area and enclosed volume when it is confined in a tube-determine critical confinement beyond which it cannot pass through without rupturing its membrane. The simulated results are presented in a wide range of reduced volumes [0.6, 0.98] for different degrees of confinement; the reduced volume of 0.6 mimics red blood cells. We draw a phase diagram of vesicle shapes and propose a shape transition line separating the parachute-like shape region from the bullet-like one in the reduced volume versus confinement phase space. We show that the shape transition marks a change in the behavior of vesicle mobility, especially for highly deflated vesicles. Most importantly, high-resolution simulations make it possible for us to examine the hydrodynamic interaction between the wall boundary and the vesicle surface at conditions of very high confinement, thus providing the limiting behavior of several quantities of interest , such as the thickness of lubrication film, vesicle mobility and its length, and the extra pressure drop due to the presence of the vesicle. This extra pressure drop holds implications for the rheology of dilute vesicle suspensions. Furthermore, we present various correlations and discuss a number of practical applications. The results of this work may serve as a benchmark for future studies and help devise tube-flow experiments.
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Contributor : Paul Gang Chen <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - 9:06:50 AM
Last modification on : Friday, July 10, 2020 - 7:59:02 AM
Document(s) archivé(s) le : Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 2:33:39 PM


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  • HAL Id : hal-02415320, version 1


Paul G. Chen, J Lyu, M Jaeger, M. Leonetti. Shape transition and hydrodynamics of vesicles in tube flow. 2019. ⟨hal-02415320v1⟩



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