An Experiment for the Undergraduate Laboratory that Teaches Fundamental Concepts of Rheology Within the Context of Sickle Cell Anemia

Jennifer Vernengo, Caitlin Purdy, Stephanie Farrell


This paper describes a biomedical engineering experiment that introduces students to rheology. Healthy and sickle-cell blood analogs are prepared that are composed of chitosan particles suspended in aqueous glycerol solutions, which substitute for RBCs and plasma, respectively. Students study flow properties of the blood analogs with a viscometer and fit the data to the Casson model. The experiment provides students with basic concepts in rheology, materials science, and data analysis. 

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