Research Interests: Microfluidic device design, fabrication, and packaging; hemorheology; fluid mechanicsJob Interests: Industry R&D, West Coast & Mountain West
Kathryn is a bioengineering Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, conducting her thesis research in Dr. Dorian Liepmann’s lab. Her work focuses on blood flow behavior in microchannels, and on hot embossing and electrodeposition techniques for the development of microfluidic devices. She has been awarded academic fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the Northern California Chapter of ARCS Foundation. Prior to joining UC Berkeley, Kathryn graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in biomedical engineering. Her background also includes several industry positions, with experiences ranging from plant biophysics at the USDA and automotive safety at Friedman Research to fluid dynamics and heat transfer in multifunctional materials at HRL Laboratories.
The Role of Erythrocyte Size and Shape in Microchannel Fluid Dynamics [BPN732]
The unique properties of blood flow in microchannels have been studied for nearly a
century; much of the observed blood-specific dynamics is attributed to the biconcave shape of
red blood cells. However, for almost twice as long biologists have observed and
characterized the differences in the size and shape of red blood cells among vertebrates.
With a few exceptions, mammals share the denucleated biconcave shape of erythrocytes but
vary in size; oviparous vertebrates have nucleated ovoid red blood cells with size
variations of a full order of magnitude. We utilize micro-PIV and pressure drop
measurements to analyze blood flow of vertebrate species in microchannels, with a focus on
understanding how cell size and shape alter the cell-free layer and velocity profile of
whole blood. The results offer insight into the Fahraeus-Lindqvist effect and the
selection of animal blood for the design and evaluation of biological microfluidic devices.