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Parametric-Equation Representative of Biconcave Erythrocytes

Philip W. Kuchel
Organization: The University of Sydney
Department: Department of Biochemistry
URL: http://www.bioeng.auckland.ac.nz/MCF/invited_users/philip_kuchel.htm
E. Fackerell
Journal / Anthology

Bulletin of Mathematical Biology
Year: 1999
Volume: 61
Page range: 209-220

The representation of the shape of a biconcave erythrocyte by a set of three parametric equations was achieved by using the expressions that transform the curvilinear coordinates from the disc-cyclide coordinate system [denoted J2R; Moon and Spencer (1998), Field Theory Handbook, Springer-Verlag, Berlin] to Cartesian coordinates. The equations are products of elliptic functions, so the challenge was to relate the three major 'shape-defining' measurements of the human erythrocyte in Cartesian coordinates to three parameters in the new curvilinear coordinates, to give a realistic representation of the shape of the membrane-surface. The relationships between the coefficients of the Cartesian degree-4 surface that describes the discocyte and the coordinate transformation equations were derived with the aid of Mathematica; and this 'package'. by having the erythrocyte shape expressed in its new form it is readily amenable to further transformations that might be used to mode those changes in shape that are seen when the cells are immersed in media of various osmolalities, or when they change metabolic 'states'. On the other hand, the relationship between the coefficients of the Cartesian expression for the disc-cyclide surface is relevant to image analysis of erythrocytes, as determined by physical methods that rely on Cartesian imaging 'slices'. These methods include confocal microscopy and various nuclear magnetic resonance microimaging procedures.

*Science > Biology