Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Determination of Reynolds Shear Stress Level for Hemolysis

Jhun, Choon-Sik; Stauffer, Megan A.; Reibson, John D.; Yeager, Eric E.; Newswanger, Raymond K.; Taylor, Joshua O.; Manning, Keefe B.; Weiss, William J.; Rosenberg, Gerson
doi: 10.1097/MAT.0000000000000615
Biomedical Engineering: PDF Only

Reynolds shear stress (RSS) has served as a metric for the effect of turbulence on hemolysis. Forstrom (1969) and Sallam and Hwang (1984) determined the RSS threshold for hemolysis to be 50,000 and 4,000 dyne/cm2, respectively, using a turbulent jet. Despite the order of magnitude discrepancy, the threshold by Sallam and Hwang has been frequently cited for hemolytic potential in blood pumps. We recreated Sallam apparatus (SA) to resolve this discrepancy and provide additional data to be used in developing a more accurate hemolysis model. Hemolysis was measured over a large range of Reynolds numbers (Re) (Re = 1,000–80,000). Washed bovine red blood cells (RBCs) were injected into the free jet of phosphate buffered saline, and hemolysis was quantified using a percent hemolysis, Hp = h (100 − hematocrit [HCT])/Hb, where h (mg/dl) is free hemoglobin and Hb (mg/dl) is total hemoglobin. Reynolds shear stress was calculated using two-dimensional laser Doppler velocimetry. Reynolds shear stress of ≥30,000 dyne/cm2 corresponding to Re of ≥60,000 appeared to cause hemolysis (p < 0.05). This RSS is an order of magnitude greater than the RSS threshold that Sallam and Hwang suggested, and it is similar to Forstrom’s RSS threshold. This study resolved a long-standing uncertainty regarding the critical values of RSS for hemolysis and may provide a foundation for a more accurate hemolysis model.

Submitted for consideration October 2016; accepted for publication in revised form May 2017.

Disclosure: The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.

Reprint Requests: Gerson Rosenberg, Department of Surgery, Division of Applied Biomedical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine, 500 University Drive, Hershey, PA 17033. Email:

Copyright © 2017 by the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs