The BioFM research group specialises in the modelling and simulation of fluid mechanics in biological systems and biologically relevant microfluidics.

Microfluidics modelling

Blood cells in DLD device

My group is investigating how microfluidic devices can be designed and employed to characterise and separate particles, most prominently biological particles, such as blood cells, bacteria or cancer cells. The primary applications are lab-on-chip devices for point-of-care diagnostics. This includes deterministic lateral displacement (DLD), inertial microfluidics and other approaches. The challenge is the complex interaction of particle dynamics, device geometry and fluid flow.

Latest publications:

Q. Zhou, J. Fidalgo, L. Calvi, M.O. Bernabeu, P.R. Hoskins, M.S.N. Oliveira, T. Krüger. Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Dilute Red Blood Cell Suspensions in Low-Inertia Microchannel Flow. Biophys. J. 118, 2561-2573 (2020). arXiv, ScienceDirect

D.W. Inglis, R. Vernekar, T. Krüger, S. Feng. The fluidic resistance of an array of obstacles and a method for improving boundaries for Deterministic Lateral Displacement arrays. Microfluidics Nanofluidics 24, 18 (2020). Springer Link

Blood flow modelling

Red blood cells in retina

The understanding of blood flow in health and disease is a central research topic in Engineering and Medicine. Typical diseases affecting or affected by blood flow are cancer, hypertension, diabetes and malaria. My group is developing advanced models and software to characterise particulate blood flow in capillary networks, tumour vasculature and the retina. Most of the blood flow modelling in my group is microscopic, which means that blood cells and their flow-induced deformations are resolved. This requires fluid-structure interaction algorithms, such as lattice Boltzmann, finite elements and immersed boundaries.

Latest publications:

M.O. Bernabeu, J. Köry, J.A. Grogan, B. Markelc, A.B. Ricol, M. d’Avezac, R. Enjalbert, J. Kaeppler, N. Daly, J. Hetherington, T. Krüger, P.K. Maini, J.M. Pitt-Francis, R.J. Muschel, T. Alarcón, H.M. Byrne. Abnormal morphology biases haematocrit distribution in tumour vasculature and contributes to heterogeneity in tissue oxygenation. PNAS 202007770 (2020) bioRxiv, PNAS

H. Wang, T. Krüger, F. Varnik. Effects of size and elasticity on the relation between flow velocity and wall shear stress in side-wall aneurysms: A lattice Boltzmann-based computer simulation study. PLoS ONE 15, e0227770 (2020). bioRxiv, PLoS

Complex flow modelling

Soft capsule at liquid-liquid interface under shear

There is no unique and clear definition of “complex flows”. It can be understood as a research field involving fluid flow coupled with additional physical mechanisms, such as diffusion, surface tension (capillary effects), phase change (e.g. boiling) and particle growth/precipitation out of solution. In my group, the unifying element is the lattice-Boltzmann method (see our book).

Latest publication: M. Wouters, O. Aouane, T. Krüger, J. Harting. Mesoscale simulation of soft particles with tunable contact angle in multi-component fluids. Phys. Rev. E 100, 033309 (2019). arXiv, PRE