The majority of particle-based delivery systems for the 'smart' administration of therapeutic and imaging agents have a spherical shape, are made by polymeric or lipid materials, have a size in the order of few hundreds of nanometers and a negligibly small relative density to aqueous solutions. In the microcirculation and deep airways of the lungs, where the creeping flow assumption holds, such small spheres move by following the flow stream lines and are not affected by external volume force fields. A delivery system should be designed to drift across the stream lines and interact repeatedly with the vessel walls, so that vascular interaction could be enhanced. The numerical approach presented in [Gavze, E., Shapiro, M., 1997. Particles in a shear flow near a solid wall: effect of nonsphericity on forces and velocities. International Journal of Multiphase Flow 23, 155-182.] is, here, proposed as a tool to analyze the dynamics of arbitrarily shaped particles in a creeping flow, and has been extended to include the contribution of external force fields. As an example, ellipsoidal particles with aspect ratio 0.5 are considered. In the absence of external volume forces, a net lateral drift (margination) of the particles has been observed for Stokes number larger than unity (St>1); whereas, for smaller St, the particles oscillate with no net lateral motion. Under these conditions, margination is governed solely by particle inertia (geometry and particle-to-fluid density ratio). In the presence of volume forces, even for fairly small St, margination is observed but in a direction dictated by the external force field. It is concluded that a fine balance between size, shape and density can lead to EVI particles (particles with enhanced vascular interaction) that are able to sense endothelial cells for biological and biophysical abnormalities, mimicking circulating platelets and leukocytes.
- Creeping flow
- Drug delivery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering