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Concept: Non-Newtonian fluid


Biological microorganisms swim with flagella and cilia that execute nonreciprocal motions for low Reynolds number (Re) propulsion in viscous fluids. This symmetry requirement is a consequence of Purcell’s scallop theorem, which complicates the actuation scheme needed by microswimmers. However, most biomedically important fluids are non-Newtonian where the scallop theorem no longer holds. It should therefore be possible to realize a microswimmer that moves with reciprocal periodic body-shape changes in non-Newtonian fluids. Here we report a symmetric ‘micro-scallop’, a single-hinge microswimmer that can propel in shear thickening and shear thinning (non-Newtonian) fluids by reciprocal motion at low Re. Excellent agreement between our measurements and both numerical and analytical theoretical predictions indicates that the net propulsion is caused by modulation of the fluid viscosity upon varying the shear rate. This reciprocal swimming mechanism opens new possibilities in designing biomedical microdevices that can propel by a simple actuation scheme in non-Newtonian biological fluids.

Concepts: Fluid dynamics, Continuum mechanics, Fluid mechanics, Viscosity, Shear stress, Fluid, Non-Newtonian fluid, Newtonian fluid


Superomniphobic surfaces display contact angles > 150° and low contact angle hysteresis with essentially all contacting liquids. In this work, we report surfaces that display superomniphobicity with a range of different non-Newtonian liquids, in addition to super-omniphobicity with a wide range of Newtonian liquids. Our surfaces possess hierarchical scales of re-entrant texture that significantly reduces the solid-liquid contact area. Virtually all liquids including concentrated organic and inorganic acids, bases and solvents, as well as, vis-coelastic polymer solutions can easily roll-off and bounce on our surfaces. Consequently, they serve as effective chemical shields against virtually all liquids - organic or inorganic, polar or non-polar, Newtonian or non-Newtonian.

Concepts: Oxygen, Solubility, Viscosity, Angle, Hysteresis, Contact angle, Non-Newtonian fluid, Newtonian fluid


Tissue and biological fluids are complex viscoelastic media with a nanoporous macromolecular structure. Here, we demonstrate that helical nano-propellers can be controllably steered through such a biological gel. The screw-propellers have a filament diameter of about 70 nm and are smaller than previously reported nano-propellers as well as any swimming microorganism. We show that the nano-screws will move through high viscosity solutions with comparable velocities to that of larger micro-propellers, even though they are so small that Brownian forces suppress their actuation in pure water. When actuated in viscoelastic hyaluronan gels, the nano-propellers appear to have a significant advantage, as they are of the same size range as the gel’s mesh-size. Whereas larger helices will show very low or negligible propulsion in hyaluronan solutions, the nano-screws actually display significantly enhanced propulsion velocities that exceed the highest measured speeds in Newtonian fluids. The nano-propellers are not only promising for applications in the extracellular environment, but are small enough to be taken up by cells.

Concepts: Blood, Water, Viscosity, Shear stress, Fluid, Non-Newtonian fluid, Newtonian fluid, Thixotropy


The concept of hydrophilic/CO(2)-philic balance (HCB) was extended to describe stabilization of carbon dioxide-in-water (C/W) foams (also called emulsions) with silica nanoparticles adsorbed at the CO(2)-water interface. Opaque, white C/W foams (bubble diameter <100 μm) were generated with either PEG-coated silica or methylsilyl modified silica nanoparticles in a beadpack with CO(2) densities between 0.2 and 0.9 g mL(-1). For methylsilyl modified silica nanoparticles, 50% SiOH modification provided an optimal HCB for generation and stabilization of viscous C/W foams with high stability. The apparent viscosity measured with a capillary tube viscometer reached 120-fold that of a CO(2)-water mixture without nanoparticles, a consequence of the small bubble size and the energy required to deform a high density of aqueous lamellae between CO(2) bubbles. Air-in-water (A/W) foams stabilized with nanoparticles were used to gain insight into the relationship between nanoparticle surface properties and adsorption of the nanoparticles at various types of interfaces. With suitable nanoparticles, A/W foams were stable for at least 7 days and C/W foams were stable for at least 23 h. The ability to achieve long term stability for nanoparticle stabilized C/W foams could offer an alternative to conventional surfactants, which are known to have much lower adsorption energies.

Concepts: Nanoparticle, Water, Colloid, Silicon, Viscosity, Liquid, Surface tension, Non-Newtonian fluid


The aim of this study is to prepare whey protein (WP)-based microparticles (MP) using the Encapsulator(®) device. The viscosity dependence of the extrusion device required to mix WP with a food-grade and less viscous polymer. Mixed WP/ALG MP were obtained with the optimized WP/alginate (ALG) ratio (62/38). These particles were further coated with WP or ALG using non-traumatic and solvent-free coating process developed in this study. Size and morphology of coated and uncoated MP were determined. Then, swelling and degradation (WP release) of formulations were investigated in pH 1.2 and 7.5 buffers and in simulated gastric and intestinal fluids (SGF, SIF) and compared to pure ALG and pure WP particle behaviours. At pH 1.2, pure ALG shrank and pure WP swelled, whereas the sizes of mixed WP/ALG matrix were stable. In SGF, WP/ALG MP resisted to pepsin degradation compare to pure WP particles due to ALG shrinkage which limited pepsin diffusion within particles. Coating addition with WP or ALG slowed down pepsin degradation. At pH 7.5, WP/ALG particles were rapidly degraded due to ALG sensitivity but the addition of a WP coating limited effectively the swelling and the degradation of MP. In SIF, pancreatin accelerated MP degradation but ALG-coated MP exhibited interesting robustness. These results confirmed the interest and the feasibility to produce coated WP-based MP which could be a potential orally controlled release drug delivery system.

Concepts: Whey protein, Milk, Viscosity, Coating, Fluid, Particle, Non-Newtonian fluid, Formulations


Axial dispersion is an important parameter in the performance of packed bed reactors. A lot of fluids exhibit non-Newtonian behaviour but the effect of rheological parameters on axial dispersion is not available in literature. The effect of rheology on axial dispersion has been analysed for viscoinelastic and viscoelastic non-Newtonian fluids. Aqueous solutions of carboxymethyl cellulose and polyacrylamide have been chosen to represent viscoinelastic and viscoelastic liquid-phases. Axial dispersion has been measured in terms of Bo(L) number. The single parameter axial dispersion model has been applied to analyse RTD response curve. The Bo(L) numbers were observed to increase with increase in liquid flow rate and consistency index ‘K’ for viscoinelastic as well as viscoelastic fluids. Bodenstein correlation for Newtonian fluids proposed has been modified to account for the effect of fluid rheology. Further, Weissenberg number is introduced to quantify the effect of viscoelasticity.

Concepts: Fluid dynamics, Continuum mechanics, Fluid mechanics, Viscosity, Fluid, Non-Newtonian fluid, Rheology, Non-Newtonian fluids


The aim of this research was to characterize the composition and physical properties of palm starch obtained from Arenga pinnata in comparison with another palm starch from Metroxylon sago. The amylose contents of both starches were not significantly different. Peak gelatinization temperature was also similar at approximately 67°C, but arenga starch showed a narrower range of gelatinization temperature than sago. The crystallinity and swelling power capacity of arenga starch were lower than those of sago. Arenga and sago starch paste at low concentrations showed shear thinning behavior, and sago formed a more viscous sol/paste than arenga. The sol-gel transition concentration of sago starch paste was found at a lower concentration than arenga starch. At high concentrations, gel from arenga starch was more rigid than that of sago. The breaking properties and texture profile of both starch gels were also clearly different, suggesting that they are suited for different applications.

Concepts: Starch, Arecaceae, Non-Newtonian fluid, Gel, Sago


Multiple particle-tracking techniques were used to quantify the thermally driven motion of ensembles of naked polystyrene (0.5 µm diameter) microbeads in order to determine the microrheological characteristics around the gut mucosa. The microbeads were introduced into living ex vivo preparations of the wall of the terminal ileum and proximal colon of the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). The fluid environment surrounding both the ileal villi and colonic mucosa was heterogeneous; probably comprising discrete viscoelastic regions suspended in a continuous Newtonian fluid of viscosity close to water. Neither the viscosity of the continuous phase, the elastic modulus (G') nor the sizes of viscoelastic regions varied significantly between areas within 20 µm and areas more than 20 µm from the villous mucosa nor from the tip to the sides of the villous mucosa. The viscosity of the continuous phase at distances further than 20 µm from the colonic mucosa was greater than that at the same distance from the ileal villous mucosa. Furthermore, the estimated sizes of viscoelastic regions were significantly greater in the colon than in the ileum. These findings validate the sensitivity of the method and call into question previous hypotheses that a contiguous layer of mucus envelops all intestinal mucosa and restricts diffusive mass transfer. Our findings suggest that, in the terminal ileum and colon at least, mixing and mass transfer are governed by more complex dynamics than were previously assumed, perhaps with gel filtration by viscoelastic regions that are suspended in a Newtonian fluid.

Concepts: Viscosity, Shear stress, Fluid, Non-Newtonian fluid, Phalangeridae, Common Brushtail Possum, Possum, Newtonian fluid


Numerical simulations are performed on patient-specific basilar aneurysms that are treated with shape memory polymer (SMP) foam. In order to assess the post-treatment hemodynamics, two modeling approaches are employed. In the first, the foam geometry is obtained from a micro-CT scan and the pulsatile blood flow within the foam is simulated for both Newtonian and non-Newtonian viscosity models. In the second, the foam is represented as a porous media continuum, which has permeability properties that are determined by computing the pressure gradient through the foam geometry over a range of flow speeds comparable to those of in vivo conditions. Virtual angiography and additional post-processing demonstrate that the SMP foam significantly reduces the blood flow speed within the treated aneurysms, while eliminating the high-frequency velocity fluctuations that are present within the pre-treatment aneurysms. An estimation of the initial locations of thrombus formation throughout the SMP foam is obtained by means of a low fidelity thrombosis model that is based upon the residence time and shear rate of blood. The Newtonian viscosity model and the porous media model capture similar qualitative trends, though both yield a smaller volume of thrombus within the SMP foam.

Concepts: Blood, Fluid dynamics, Continuum mechanics, Fluid mechanics, Viscosity, Non-Newtonian fluid, Rheology, Newtonian fluid


Intravenous fluid resuscitation is ubiquitous throughout medicine and is often considered a benign procedure. Yet, there is now clear recognition of the potential harms of fluid overload after initial resuscitation. In recent years, there has also been an increasing focus on comparing various resuscitation fluids with respect to both benefits and risks. Studies have examined colloids, such as albumin and starches, against the clinical standard of crystalloids. In addition, evidence has emerged to suggest that outcomes may be different between resuscitation with chloride-rich vs balanced crystalloid solutions. In this article, we review the current literature regarding choice of intravenous fluids for resuscitation in the intensive care setting and describe the dangers associated with fluid overload in critically ill patients.

Concepts: Health care, Intravenous therapy, Illness, Liquid, Non-Newtonian fluid, Bolus