Statistical mechanics of red blood cell aggregation: The distribution of rouleaux in thermal equilibrium

F.W. Wiegel, Alan S. Perelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

20 Citations (Scopus)
155 Downloads (Pure)


When placed in suspension red blood cells adhere face-to-face and form long, cylindrical, and sometimes branched structures called rouleaux. We use methods developed in statistical mechanics to compute various statistical properties describing the size and shape of rouleaux in thermodynamic equilibrium. This leads to analytical expressions for (1) the average number of rouleaux consisting ofn cells and havingm branch points; (2) the average number of cells per rouleau; (3) the average number of branch points per rouleau; and (4) the number of rouleaux withn cells in a system containing a total ofN cells. We also derive asymptotic formulas that simplify these analytic expressions, and present numerical comparisons of the exact and asymptotic results.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)813-848
JournalJournal of statistical physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1982


  • rouleaux
  • rooted trees
  • Aggre- gation
  • Statistical mechanics
  • IR-85792
  • red blood cells

Cite this