Video4_A mechanistic model of cross-bridge migration in RBC aggregation and disaggregation.AVI (17.96 MB)
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Video4_A mechanistic model of cross-bridge migration in RBC aggregation and disaggregation.AVI

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posted on 2022-12-06, 04:40 authored by Swe Soe Maung Ye, Sangho Kim

Red blood cells (RBCs) clump together under low flow conditions in a process called RBC aggregation, which can alter RBC perfusion in a microvascular network. As elevated RBC aggregation is commonly associated with cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, a better understanding of aggregation is essential. Unlike RBC aggregation in polymer solutions which can be well explained by polymer depletion theory, plasma-mediated RBC aggregation has features that best match explanations with cross-bridging mechanisms. Previous studies have demonstrated the dominant role of fibrinogen (Fg) in promoting aggregate formation and recent cell-force spectroscopy (CFS) experiments on interacting RBC doublets in plasma have reported an inverse relationship between disaggregation force and the adhesive contact area between RBCs. This has led investigators to revisit the hypothesis of inter-RBC cross-bridging which involves cross-bridge migration under interfacial tension during the forced disaggregation of RBC aggregates. In this study, we developed the cross-bridge migration model (CBMM) in plasma that mechanistically represents the migrating cross-bridge hypothesis. Transport of mobile Fg cross-bridges (mFg) was calculated using a convection-diffusion transport equation with our novel introduction of convective cross-bridge drift that arises due to intercellular friction. By parametrically transforming the diffusivity of mFg in the CBMM, we were able to match experimental observations of both RBC doublet formation kinematics and RBC doublet disaggregation forces under optical tweezers tension. We found that non-specific cross-bridging promotes spontaneous growth of adhesion area between RBC doublets whereas specific cross-bridging tends to prevent adhesion area growth. Our CBMM was also able to correlate Fg concentration shifts from healthy population blood plasma to SLE (lupus) condition blood plasma with the observed increase in doublet disaggregation forces for the RBC doublets in SLE plasma.