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Caption: Researchers from Brown University used computer models to show how different types of red blood cells interact to cause sickle cell crisis, a painful blockage of blood flow in capillaries. The models showed that sticky SS2 cells (blue) start the process by getting stuck on blood vessel walls. Rigid, crescent-shaped cells (red) that are the hallmark of the disease then get stuck behind the SS2 cells. This is the first time a biophysical mechanism behind sickle cell disease has been identified.
Credit: Karniadakis Lab / Brown University
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Related news release: Computer models shed new light on sickle cell crisis