Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Degree Level



Chemical Engineering


Hestekin, Jamie


Clinical studies have shown that patients undergoing renal replacement therapy are more susceptible to developing hemolysis, or the rupturing of red blood cells. Rapid hemolysis can cause symptoms such as anorexia, vomiting, and even death in severe cases. The aim of this study is to identify how shear stress within a hollow fiber membrane impacts the level of hemolysis that occurs. This allows for the optimization of the ultrafiltration membranes that are typically used for hemofiltration treatments. The variables being studied are the radii of hollow fibers, number of fibers, and volumetric flow rate of blood being circulated. Here, we also use COMSOL software to simulate blood flow through a membrane, generating shear stress and velocity profiles. The extent of hemolysis is characterized by the concentration of free hemoglobin in the blood. The results of the calculations indicated that a smaller radius and a higher volumetric flow rate induced greater shear stress and therefore higher concentrations of free hemoglobin in the system, while increasing the number of fibers resulted in a smaller concentration. We concluded that the manipulation of these variables influences the total time a patient can undergo hemofiltration before experiencing adverse effects.


Hemolysis, Hemofiltration, Shear-stress, Fluids, COMSOL