Detailed knowledge of the blood velocity distribution over the cross-sectional area of a microvessel is important for several reasons: (1) Information about the flow field velocity gradients can suggest an adequate description of blood flow. (2) Transport of blood components is determined by the velocity profiles and the concentration of the cells over the cross-sectional area. (3) The velocity profile is required to investigate volume flow rate as well as wall shear rate and shear stress which are important parameters in describing the interaction between blood cells and the vessel wall.
The present study shows the accurate measurement of non-Newtonian blood velocity profiles at different shear rates in a microchannel using a novel translating-stage optical method. Newtonian fluid velocity profile has been well known to be a parabola, but blood is a non-Newtonian fluid which has a plug flow region at the centerline due to yield shear stress and has different viscosities depending on shear rates. The experimental results were compared at the same flow conditions with the theoretical flow equations derived from Casson non-Newtonian viscosity model in a rectangular capillary tube. And accurate wall shear rate and shear stress were estimated for different flow rates based on these velocity profiles. Also the velocity profiles were modeled and compared with parabolic profiles, concluding that the wall shear rates were at least 1.46-3.94 times higher than parabolic distribution for the same volume flow rate.