Finite Platelet Size Could Be Responsible for Platelet Margination Effect
Blood flows through vessels as a segregated suspension. Erythrocytes distribute closer to the vessel axis, whereas platelets accumulate near vessel walls. Directed platelet migration to the vessel walls promotes their hemostatic function. The mechanisms underlying this migration remain poorly understood, although various hypotheses have been proposed to explain this phenomenon (e.g., the available volume model and the drift-flux model). To study this issue, we constructed a mathematical model that predicts the platelet distribution profile across the flow in the presence of erythrocytes. This model considers platelet and erythrocyte dimensions and assumes an even platelet distribution between erythrocytes. The model predictions agree with available experimental data for near-wall layer margination using platelets and platelet-modeling particles and the lateral migration rate for these particles. Our analysis shows that the strong expulsion of the platelets from the core to the periphery of the blood vessel may mainly arise from the finite size of the platelets, which impedes their positioning in between the densely packed erythrocytes in the core. This result provides what we believe is a new insight into the rheological control of platelet hemostasis by erythrocytes.