Study by optical techniques of the dependence of aggregation parameters of human red blood cells on their deformability

Anastasia I. Maslianitsyna orcid (Login required)
Physics faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Federation

Petr B. Ermolinsky
Physics faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Federation

Andrei E. Lugovtsov
Physics faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Federation
International Laser Centre, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Federation

Alexander V. Priezzhev
Physics faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Federation
International Laser Centre, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Federation

Paper #3371 received 19 May 2020; revised manuscript received 15 Jun 2020; accepted for publication 19 Jun 2020; published online 22 Jun 2020.

DOI: 10.18287/JBPE20.06.020305


Blood microcirculation in human body is greatly dependent on the microrheologic properties of red blood cells. The aim of this work is to identify the relationship between the deformability of these cells and their aggregation properties, both of which are the key factors for the blood flow. Laser diffractometry, diffuse light scattering and laser tweezers were implemented for in vitromeasurements. Different osmolarity of plasma (150–500 mOsm/l) and concentrations of glutaraldehyde (up to 0.004%) were used to change the deformability of healthy red blood cells in vitro. The results show that with the cells becoming more rigid some aggregation parameters (e.g. the fraction of aggregated cells) decrease, while some of them (e.g. the hydrodynamic strength of the aggregate) stay unchanged. For example, after incubation in 0.004% glutaraldehyde solution the erythrocyte deformability drops by 19 ± 2% and this leads to a decrease by 77 ± 4% in the aggregation index. This means that there is a connection between cell deformability and the formation of the aggregates, however the relationship is less pronounced and more complex for the disaggregation process.


blood; erythrocytes; red blood cell aggregation; deformability; laser diffractometry; laser tweezers; diffuse light scattering; glutaraldehyde; osmolarity

Full Text:



1. V. Leftov, S. Regirer, and N. Shadrina, Blood Rheology, Meditsina (1982) [in Russian].

2. V. V. Tuchin (Ed.), Handbook of Optical Biomedical Diagnostics, Vol. 2, second edition, SPIE PRESS, Bellingham, Washington, USA (2016).

3. N. Firsov, A. Priezzhev, N. Klimova, and A. Tyurina, “Fundamental laws of the deformational behavior of erythrocytes in shear flow,” Journal of Engineering Physics and Thermophysics 79(1), 118–124 (2006).

4. H. Li, L. Lu, X. Li, P. A. Buffet, M. Dao, G. E. Karniadakis, and S. Suresh, “Mechanics of diseased red blood cells in human spleen and consequences for hereditary blood disorders,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(38), 9574–9579 (2018).

5. O. Baskurt, B. Neu, and H. Meiselman, Red blood cell aggregation, CRC Press (2012).

6. O. Fadyukova, A. Lugovtsov, A. Priezzhev, and V. Koshelev, “Optical study of blood rheological properties for krushinsky–molodkina strain rats with diabetes mellitus and acute disturbances of the cerebral circulation,” Series Physics 17, 111–120 (2017) [in Russian].

7. P. Ermolinskiy, A. Lugovtsov, A. Maslyanitsina, A. Semenov, L. Dyachuk, and A. Priezzhev, “Interaction of erythrocytes in the process of pair aggregation in blood samples from patients with arterial hypertension and healthy donors: measurements with laser tweezers,” Journal of Biomedical Photonics & Engineering 4(3), 030303, (2018).

8. P. Ermolinskiy, A. Lugovtsov, A. Maslyanitsina, A. Semenov, L. Dyachuk, and A. Priezzhev, “In vitro assessment of microrheological properties of erythrocytes in norm and pathology with optical methods,” Series on Biomechanics, 32(3), 20–25 (2018).

9. Yu. Gurfinkel, A. Lugovtsov, P. Ermolinskiy, E. Pavlikova, L. Diachuk, and A. Priezzhev, “Comparative in-vivo and in-vitro study of blood rheological properties in patients with coronary heart disease with laser-optic techniques,” Proceedings of SPIE 11065, 110650U (2019).

10. O. Fadyukova, A. Yu. Tyurina, A. E. Lugovtsov, A. V. Priezzhev, L. A. Andreeva, V. B. Koshelev, and N. F. Myasoedov, “Semax increases erythrocyte deformability in the shearing blood stream in intact rats and rats with cerebral ischemia,” Doklady Biological Sciences 439, 208–211 (2011).

11. O. Baskurt, M.R. Hardeman, M. Uyuklu, P. Ulker, M. Cengiz, N. Nemeth, S. Shin, T. Alexy, and H. J. Meiselman, “Comparison of three commercially available ektacytometers with different shearing geometries,” Biorheology 46(3), 251–264 (2009).

12. A. Lugovtsov, Y. I. Gurfinkel, P. B. Ermolinskiy, A. I. Maslyanitsina, L. I. Dyachuk, and A. V. Priezzhev, “Optical assessment of alterations of microrheologic and microcirculation parameters in cardiovascular diseases,” Biomedical Optics Express 10(8), 3974–3986 (2019).

13. K. Lee, M. Kinnunen, M. D. Khokhlova, E. V. Lyubin, A. V. Priezzhev, I. Meglinski, and A. A. Fedyanin, “Optical tweezers study of red blood cell aggregation and disaggregation in plasma and protein solutions,” Journal of Biomedical Optics 21(3), 035001 (2016).

14. S. Shin, Y. Yang, and J. Suh, “Measurement of erythrocyte aggregation in a microchip stirring system by light transmission,” Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation 41(3), 197–207 (2009).

15. S. Shin, J. Hou, J. Suh, and M. Singh, “Validation and application of a microfluidic ektacytometer (RheoScan-D) in measuring erythrocyte deformability,” Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation 37(4), 319–28 (2007).

16. A. Abay, G. Simionato, R. Chachanidze, A. Bogdanova, L. Hertz, P. Bianchi, E. van den Akker, M. von Lindern, M. Leonetti, G. Minetti, C. Wagner, and L. Kaestner, “Glutaraldehyde – a subtle tool in the investigation of healthy and pathologic red blood cells,” Frontiers in Physiology 10, 514 (2019).

17. G. Griffiths, “Fixation for fine structure preservation and immucytochemistry”, Chapter in Fine Structure Immunocytochemistry, Springer, 26‐89 (1993).

18. N. Nemeth, F. Kiss, and K. Miszti-Blasius, “Interpretation of osmotic gradient ektacytometry (osmoscan) data: a comparative study for methodological standards,” Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation, 75(3), 213‐222 (2015)

19. Y. Liang, Y. Xiang, J. Lamstein, A. Bezryadina, and Z. Chen, “Cell deformation and assessment with tunable “tug-of-war” optical tweezers,” Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, AM1I.4 (2019).

20. R. Huisjes, A. Bogdanova, W. W. van Solinge, R. M. Schiffelers, L. Kaestner, R. van Wijk, “Squeezing for life – properties of red blood cell deformability,” Frontiers in Physiology 9, 514 (2018).

21. P. Snabre, M. Bitbol, and P. Mills, “Cell disaggregation behavior in shear flow,” Biophysical Journal, 51(5), 795–807 (1987).

22. M. Ju, S. S. Ye, H. T. Low, J. Zhang, P. Cabrales, H. L. Leo, and S. Kim, “Effect of deformability difference between two erythrocytes on their aggregation,” Physical Biology 10(3), 036001 (2013).

23. S. Xue, B. Lee, and S. Shin. “Disaggregating shear stress: The roles of cell deformability and fibrinogen concentration,” Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation 55(2), 231-240 (2012).

© 2014-2024 Samara National Research University. All Rights Reserved.
Public Media Certificate (RUS). 12+