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28.07.2017 | Original Article | Ausgabe 4/2017

Journal of Artificial Organs 4/2017

Numerical investigation of oxygen transport by hemoglobin-based carriers through microvessels

Journal of Artificial Organs > Ausgabe 4/2017
Toru Hyakutake, Takumi Kishimoto


The small size of hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers (HBOCs) may expand the realm of new treatment possibilities for various circulatory diseases. The parametric evaluation of HBOC performance for oxygen transport within tissue is essential for effectively characterizing its performance for each circulatory disease assessed. Thus, the overarching objective of this present study was to numerically investigate the reaction–diffusion phenomenon of oxygenated HBOCs and oxygen on tissues through microvessels. We considered dissociation rate coefficients, oxygen affinity, and diffusion coefficients due to Brownian motion as the biophysical parameters for estimating HBOC performance for oxygen transport. A two-dimensional computational domain, including vessel and tissue regions, was, therefore, accordingly assumed. It was observed that HBOC flows in a microvessel with a diameter of 25 μm and a length of 1 mm, and that the dissociated oxygen diffuses to the tissue region. The results indicated that oxyhemoglobin saturation and partial oxygen tension in a downstream region changed according to each biophysical parameter of HBOC. Moreover, the change in oxygen consumption rate in the tissue region had considerable influence on the oxyhemoglobin saturation level within the vessel. Comparison between simulation results and existing in vitro experimental data of actual HBOCs and RBC showed qualitatively good agreement. These results provide important information for the effective design of robust HBOCs in future.

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