1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data The red blood cell is very oddly shaped, and it is natural to wonder why it is not spherical. This question should tell you the answer. Since the body requires a certain minimum amount of hemoglobin in the blood (and hence a certain minimum red cell volume), let us consider the red cell volume to be fixed at 98 μm3. (a) If the red blood cell were spherical, what is the smallest pore that it could fit through? Assume that the red blood cell membrane will rupture if stretched (a very good approximation) and remember that a sphere is the geometrical object having minimum surface area for a given volume. (b) Now consider the real shape of a red blood cell and allow the cell to deform as it passes through a pore of radius R (Fig. 3.18). Assume that the red blood cell is cylindrical with hemispherical ends. Taking cell membrane area as 130 μm2, what is the minimum R value? You will get a cubic equation for R; solve it numerically. (c) Why is it advantageous to have non-spherical red blood cells? 2. Relevant equations 3. The attempt at a solution Can't even begin since professor didn't teach anything..