Vesicles and red blood cells in flow: From individual dynamics to rheology

Petia M. Vlahovska, Thomas Podgorski, Chaouqi Misbah*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

130 Scopus citations


The rheology of suspensions of soft particles, such as red blood cells, is a long-standing problem in science and engineering due to the complex interplay between deformable microstructure and the macroscale flow. The major challenge stems from the free-boundary nature of the particle interface. Lipid bilayer membranes that envelop cells and vesicles are particularly complex interfaces because of their unusual mechanics: the molecularly thin membrane is a highly-flexible incompressible fluid sheet. As a result, particles made of closed lipid bilayers (red cells and vesicles) can exhibit richer dynamics than would capsules and drops. We overview the key experimental observations and recent advances in the theoretical modeling of the vesicles and red blood cells in flow. To cite this article: P.M. Vlahovska et al., C. R. Physique 10 (2009).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)775-789
Number of pages15
JournalComptes Rendus Physique
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Blood rheology
  • Lipid membrane
  • Stokes flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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