In this article, we describe the general features of red blood cell membranes and their effect on blood flow and blood rheology. We first present a basic description of membranes and move forward to red blood cell membranes’ characteristics and modeling. We later review the specific properties of red blood cells, presenting recent numerical and experimental microfluidics studies that elucidate the effect of the elastic properties of the red blood cell membrane on blood flow and hemorheology. Finally, we describe specific hemorheological pathologies directly related to the mechanical properties of red blood cells and their effect on microcirculation, reviewing microfluidic applications for the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases.
- Membrane elasticity
- Red blood cells