The appearance of this Handbook is a timely event, as it is 20 years since the publication of the “Handbook of Bioengineering”  that dealt mainly with basic aspects of hemodynamics and hemorheology. Also, in the 1980s and 1990s a number of books were published that focused on clinical aspects of blood rheology [2–5]. In selecting topics for the present handbook the editors have attempted to provide a general overview of both basic science and clinical hemorheology and hemodynamics. Hemorheology and hemodynamics are closely related, the former dealing with all aspects of the flow and interactions of the individual blood cells mostly studied in vitro, the latter with the in vivo relationships among vessel architecture, driving pressure, flow rate and shear stress. The linkage between the in vitro and in vivo research described in the book will be of interest to both basic science and clinical investigators.
With respect to hemorheology, the new book successfully updates developments and advances in the flow properties of human blood cells (microrheology). Furthermore, in the chapters on cell mechanics, these flow properties are related to events occurring at the level of the bonds between the interacting corpuscles (platelets and white cells as well as red cells), and between the corpuscles and the vessel wall (molecular rheology). A welcome feature of the handbook is that it includes a chapter on comparative hemorheology, showing that the rheological properties of red cells vary widely among the animal species, thus shedding light on the process of adaptation to a specific environment or lifestyle, and a chapter on neonatal and fetal blood rheology showing the considerable adaptation processes in play at birth and in infancy and childhood. Also dealt with in some depth are the effects of diseases on the mechanical and adhesive properties of red cells and the underlying molecular mechanisms, particularly those found in malaria. A related subject, the damage sustained by red cells due to flow-induced mechanical trauma, is also presented.
With respect to hemodynamics, it is evident in the chapters of section III of the handbook that the field has advanced significantly in the last 30 years, particularly with respect to our understanding of microcirculatory blood flow using novel experimental techniques, the latter being the subject of a separate chapter.
The handbook closes with chapters on clinical states associated with abnormal blood rheology, including a chapter on the yet controversial subject of rheological therapy.
The editors of the handbook have each been active in the fields of bio- and hemorheology for many years, and have published extensively. They have successfully achieved their objective to publish a well-written and well-edited handbook that will be valuable for researchers and students in the field.
Shu Chien, MD, PhD
Harry L. Goldsmith, PhD
 R. Skalak and S. Chien, Eds., Handbook of Bioengineering, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1987.
 S. Chien, J. Dormandy, E. Ernst and A. Matrai, Eds., Clinical Hemorheology, Martinus Nijhoff Publ., Dordrecht, 1987.
 G.D.O. Lowe, Ed. Clinical Blood Rheology, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 1988.
 A.M. Ehrly, Therapeutic Hemorheology, Springer-Verlag, New York, 1991.
 J.F. Stoltz, M. Singh and P. Riha, Hemorheology in Practice, IOS Press, Amsterdam, 1999.