Biophys J 2018 10 30;115(7):1371-1382. Epub 2018 Aug 30.
Division of Applied Mathematics, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. Electronic address:
Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) develop thrombotic abnormalities strongly associated with cardiovascular diseases. In addition to the changes of numerous coagulation factors such as elevated levels of thrombin and fibrinogen, the abnormal rheological effects of red blood cells (RBCs) and platelets flowing in blood are crucial in platelet adhesion and thrombus formation in T2DM. An important process contributing to the latter is the platelet margination. We employ the dissipative particle dynamics method to seamlessly model cells, plasma, and vessel walls. We perform a systematic study on RBC and platelet transport in cylindrical vessels by considering different cell shapes, sizes, and RBC deformabilities in healthy and T2DM blood, as well as variable flowrates and hematocrit. In particular, we use cellular-level RBC and platelet models with parameters derived from patient-specific data and present a sensitivity study. We find T2DM RBCs, which are less deformable compared to normal RBCs, lower the transport of platelets toward the vessel walls, whereas platelets with higher mean volume (often observed in T2DM) lead to enhanced margination. Furthermore, increasing the flowrate or hematocrit enhances platelet margination. We also investigated the effect of platelet shape and observed a nonmonotonic variation with the highest near-wall concentration corresponding to platelets with a moderate aspect ratio of 0.38. We examine the role of white blood cells (WBCs), whose count is increased notably in T2DM patients. We find that WBC rolling or WBC adhesion tends to decrease platelet margination due to hydrodynamic effects. To the best of our knowledge, such simulations of blood including all blood cells have not been performed before, and our quantitative findings can help separate the effects of hydrodynamic interactions from adhesive interactions and potentially shed light on the associated pathological processes in T2DM such as increased inflammatory response, platelet activation and adhesion, and ultimately thrombus formation.
Quantifying Platelet Margination in Diabetic Blood Flow