Dr. Alain Kassab


Because blood is challenging to use as a working fluid in a laboratory setting due to health and safety concerns, a blood analogue would be useful to perform benchtop experiments. Viscosity is an important fluid property for modeling and experiments, especially because blood is a shear thinning fluid; therefore, it has a decreasing viscosity with higher shear rates. This project seeks to create a blood-mimicking fluid for benchtop laboratory use. Numerous fluids with different combinations of water, glycerin, salt, and xanthan gum (XG) were created to mimic blood viscosity at different hematocrit levels. Four additional solutions were also created from the previously mentioned solutions by adding 0.5% by mass salt. The solutions were compared with blood at the equivalent hematocrit (EH) and with previous tests. Three different EHs were tested and all produced results similar to blood viscosities. The solutions were also able to mimic the shear thinning behavior of blood at different EHs. The fluids with 0.075% XG, 50% water, and 50% glycerin were better representative of blood than the fluids with 0.075% XG, 60% water and 40% glycerin. However, no difference in viscosity was found between the fluids with and without salt. These results show that the proposed mixtures can closely mimic blood viscosities at different hematocrit levels.

About the Author

Lindsey Webb graduated from UCF in May of 2019. She received her degree in Mechanical Engineering, with minors in Bioengineering and International Engineering. Lindsey was also a recipient of the Order of Pegasus. She is currently a medical student at the UCF’s College of Medicine. In her spare time, Lindsey loves traveling, hiking, and spending time with family.



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