Yen, R. T. and Y. C. Fung. Effect of velocity of distribution on red cell distribution in capillary blood vessels. J R Coll Gen Pract Occas Pap. 235:H251-7, 1978.
Through the use of simulated model experiments, data on blood cell distribution into a bifurcating capillary blood vessel are obtained. The results show that the movement of red blood cells at a bifurcation point is influenced by the difference in velocities of flow in the daughter branches. If the velocity of flow in one branch is slower than that in the other, the hematocrit decreases in the slower branch and increases in the faster branch. For velocity ratios sufficiently smaller than a certain critical value, the hematocrit ratio can be expressed by a linear relationship, (H1/H2) - 1 = a[v1/v2) - 1], in which v1, v2 and H1 H2 denote the particle velocities and tube hematocritis in the branches 1 and 2, respectively, and a is a dimensionless contant dependent upon a number of factors, the most important of which are the ratio of cell diameter to tube diameter, the shape and rigidity of the pellets, and the hematocrit in the feeding tube. For velocity ratios beyond a critical value, nearly all the cells flow into the faster branch. The smaller the feeding-tube hematocrit is, the smaller is the critical velocity ratio at which this phenomenon occurs.