We developed a numerical model of the behavior of a red blood cell infected by Plasmodium falciparum malaria on a wall in shear flow. The fluid and solid mechanics of an infected red blood cell (Pf-IRBC) were coupled with the biochemical interaction of ligand-receptor bindings. We used the boundary element method for fluid mechanics, the finite element method for membrane mechanics, and the Monte Carlo method for ligand-receptor interactions. We simulated the behavior of a Pf-IRBC in shear flow, focusing on the effects of bond type. For slip bonds, the Pf-IRBC exhibited firm adhesion, tumbling motion, and tank-treading motion, depending on the applied shear rate. The behavior of catch bonds resembled that of slip bonds, except for a ‘catch’ state at high shear stress. When the reactive compliance decreased to a value in the order of 10-2 nm, both the slip and catch bonds behaved like an ideal bond. Such bonds do not respond to the force applied to the bond, and the velocity is stabilized at a high shear rate. Finally, we compared the numerical results with previous experiments for A4- and ItG-infected cells. We found that the interaction between PfEMP1 and ICAM-1 could be a nearly ideal bond, with a dissociation rate ranging from 30 s-1 to 100 s-1.
- Nanomedicine molecular science
- cell adhesion
- computational biomechanics