Blood is a remarkably complicated fluid, thanks in part to its many constituents. What we see here is an animation of a drop of blood evaporating at several times normal speed. As water from the blood evaporates, it causes relative changes in surface tension. These surface tension gradients cause convection inside the drop and carry red blood cells toward the outer portion of the drop. As the blood evaporates further, it leaves behind different patterns that depend on which parts of the whole blood mixture were deposited in each region. Interestingly, the final desiccation patterns can indicate the healthiness of a patient. Below are images of dried blood patterns from (left) a healthy individual and (right) an anemic individual. (Image credits: D. Brutin et. al., source)
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