'Cell Pinball': What is the physics?

Ryo Murakami, Makoto Kaneko, Shinya Sakuma, Fumihito Arai

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


During the deformability test of Red Blood Cell (RBC) by utilizing a micro fluidic channel, we found an interesting phenomenon where some RBCs behave just like elastic pinball with the motion in the perpendicular direction with respect to the main flow line, while most of RBCs simply move along the main flow line. This phenomenon is called 'Cell Pinball'. Through visualization, we found that the RBC being in Cell Pinball mode rotates around the perpendicular axis to the flow line and the rotating direction has one-to-one relationship with the moving direction without any exceptions. We also found that the rotating axis exists slightly behind the center of gravity with respect to the flow direction. This geometrical configuration makes an unstable condition for the cell under the fluid force, which eventually produces the motion perpendicular to the main flow line.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7050982
Pages (from-to)431-434
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS)
Issue numberFebruary
Publication statusPublished - Feb 26 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event2015 28th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, MEMS 2015 - Estoril, Portugal
Duration: Jan 18 2015Jan 22 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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