Dependence of adhesive behaviour of neutrophils on local fluid dynamics in a region with recirculating flow

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Colleges, School and Institutes


We have recently described patterns of adhesion of different types of leukocytes downstream of a backward facing step. Here the predicted fluid dynamics in channels incorporating backward facing steps are described, and related to the measured velocities of Bowing cells, patterns of attachment and characteristics of rolling adhesion for neutrophils perfused over P-selectin. Deeper (upstream depth 300 mum, downstream depth 600 mum, maximum wall shear stress similar to0.1 Pa) and shallower (upstream depth 260 mum, downstream depth 450 mum, maximum wall shear stress similar to0.3 Pa) channels were compared. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) predicted the presence of vortices downstream of the steps, distances to reattachment of flow, local wall shear stresses and components of velocity parallel and perpendicular to the wall. Measurements of velocities of perfused neutrophils agreed well with predictions, and suggested that adhesion to P-selectin should be possible in the regions of recirculating flow, but not downstream in re-established flow in the high shear channel. When channels were coated with a P-selectin-Fc chimaera, neutrophils were captured from flow and immobilised. Capture showed local maxima around the reattachment points, but was absent elsewhere in the high shear chamber. In the low shear chamber there was depression of adhesion just beyond the reattachment point because of expansion of flow and depeletion of neutrophils near the wall. Inside the recirculation zones, adhesion decreased approaching the step because of an increasing, vertically upward velocity component. When channels were coated with P-selectin, neutrophils rolled in all regions, but lifted off the surface as they rolled backwards into low shear regions near the step. Rolling velocity in the recirculation zone was independent of sheer stress, possibly because of the effects of vertical lift. We conclude that while local wall shear stress influences adhesive behavior, delivery of cells to the wall and their behavior after capture also depend on components of flow perpendicular to the wall.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-227
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001