Literature reports provide evidence that nanomolar concentrations of spaghetti-like, high molecular weight polymers decrease the hydrodynamic resistance of blood thereby improving impaired blood circulation. It has been suggested that the polymer-induced drag reduction is caused by the corralling of red blood cells (RBCs) among extended macromolecules aligned in the flow direction. This mechanism predicts that drag-reducing polymers must affect the conductivity of completely dispersed blood, time-dependent and steady state structural organization of aggregated RBCs at rest. However, experimental results obtained at the concentration of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO, MW=4×106) of 35ppm show that neither the conductivity of completely dispersed blood, nor the kinetics of RBC aggregation occurring after the stoppage of flow, nor the structural organization of aggregated RBCs in the quiescent blood are affected by PEO. As these results are at odds with the " corralling" hypothesis, it is assumed that the effect of these polymers on the drag is associated with their interactions with local irregularities of disturbed laminar blood flow.
- Drag reduction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry