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Structural Engineering

Aerospace Biological Civil Geotechnical Mechanical

An Analysis of Clearance of the Red Blood Cell in the Spleen: A Coupled Biophysical and Structural Analysis

Seminar Speaker
Professor Robert J. Asaro
Seminar Date
Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 12:00 pm
Sponsored By
Robert Asaro
Speaker Bio

Prior to joining UCSD in 1989, Dr. Robert Aaro was an associate professor at Brown University. Asaro also worked as a research scientist at Ford Motor Company and the U.S. Naval Radiological Laboratory. Asaro is a member of the American Society of Metals, the Physics and Chemistry of Solids Committee, and the Materials Research Society. He is a two-time recipient of the NSF Creativity Award (1983, 1989). In 1991, Asaro was awarded the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society/Materials Information Society C.H. Matthewson Gold Medal. Professor Asaro designs and manufactures large-scale composite structures. He is particularly interested in the use of these structures for marine applications such as new pilings to make piers stronger and safer. His pilings are made from molded hollow tubes of advanced composite materials including glass fiber and vinyl ester resin. Recycled plastic sheaths the tubes and provides an abrasion resistant outer surface. The structural composite materials are strong, lightweight, and immune from sea worm attack. They are also highly corrosion resistant. Asaro's research interests also include the bulk processing of high Tc-BSCCo superconductors

Red blood cell clearance occurs principally in the spleen and liver, although the precise mechanisms involved remain unclear. In sinusoidal spleens, such as in humans, rats, and dogs attention has often focused on the interendothelial slits (IESs) of the red pulp where passage may become difficult due to reduced blood cell “deformability” due to ageing or disease states, e.g. as in sickle cell disease or malaria. However, even if blocked in the red pulp, there remains the open question of how red blood cells are finally removed. In this talk we will describe a novel model for the mechanical filtering by blood flow through the venous IESs of the human spleen. However, we will argue that such potential blockages may not be the actual clearance mechanism but instead plays another vital role. We focus on the mechanism of opening of the slits, i.e. the development of slit caliber, that we show mediates the kinetics of red blood cell passage.


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