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Concept: Viscoelasticity


This prospective cohort study provides evidence and information on the mechanism of action of onabotulinum toxin A on the reduction of skin elasticity and pliability. Understanding the natural course that onabotulinum toxin A has on the elasticity of skin may help physicians understand why there appears to be a progressive reduction in wrinkle levels with repeated treatments.

Concepts: Viscoelasticity


The rheological properties of wet powder masses used in the preparation of pharmaceutical pellets by extrusion/spheronization were evaluated utilizing capillary and rotational rheometers. A ram extruder was used as a capillary rheometer to construct flow and viscosity curves for each wet mass under different extrusion rates and die geometry. As a result, shear thinning behavior was observed for all wet masses. Among the considered rheological models Power Law and Herschel-Bulkley models fitted well with the experimental results. For the majority of the wet masses, water separation and migration occurred during extrusion which led to uneven water content in the extrudate. The effect of extrusion condition including extrusion speed, die geometry and water content on the occurrence of water separation was investigated and the surface quality of the extrudates was compared. In addition, dynamic rheometry tests were done by a parallel plate rheometer to investigate the viscoelastic properties of the wet masses. The frequency sweep tests showed that as water content of the wet masses decreases storage (G') and loss modulus (G″) increase. The storage modulus values were much higher than those of the loss modulus showing dominated elastic rather than viscous behavior for the wet masses at low deformation rates.

Concepts: Rheometry, Fluid mechanics, Viscoelasticity, Liquid, Rheology, Viscosity, Continuum mechanics, Rheometer


A striking feature of stress relaxation in biological soft tissue is that it frequently follows a power law in time with an exponent that is independent of strain even when the elastic properties of the tissue are highly nonlinear. This kind of behavior is an example of quasi-linear viscoelasticity, and is usually modeled in a purely empirical fashion. The goal of the present study was to account for quasi-linear viscoelasticity in mechanistic terms based on our previously developed hypothesis that it arises as a result of isolated micro-yield events occurring in sequence throughout the tissue, each event passing the stress it was sustaining on to other regions of the tissue until they themselves yield. We modeled stress relaxation computationally in a collection of stress-bearing elements. Each element experiences a stochastic sequence of either increases in elastic equilibrium length or decreases in stiffness according to the stress imposed upon it. This successfully predicts quasi-linear viscoelastic behavior, and in addition predicts power-law stress relaxation that proceeds at the same slow rate as observed in real biological soft tissue.

Concepts: Continuum mechanics, Creep, Stress relaxation, Linear elasticity, Hooke's law, Time, Viscoelasticity, Elasticity


Resonant ultrasound spectroscopy (RUS) is an accurate measurement method in which the full stiffness tensor of a material is assessed from the free resonant frequencies of a small sample, and the viscoelastic damping is measured from the resonant peaks width. High viscoelastic damping causes the resonant peaks to overlap and therefore complicate the measurement of the resonant frequencies and the inverse identification of material properties. For that reason, RUS has been known to be fully applicable only to low damping materials. The purpose of this work is to adapt RUS for the characterization of highly attenuating viscoelastic materials. Spectrum measurement using shear transducers combined with dedicated signal processing is employed to retrieve the resonant frequencies despite overlapping. A probabilistic (Bayesian) formulation of the inverse problem, tackling the problem of correctly pairing the measured and predicted frequencies, is proposed. Applications to polymethylmethacrylate (isotropic) and glass/epoxy transversely isotropic samples are presented. The full set of viscoelastic properties is obtained with good repeatability. Particularly, elastic moduli of the isotropic samples are obtained within 1%.

Concepts: Transverse isotropy, Isotropy, Resonance, Viscoelasticity, Elastic modulus, Young's modulus, Materials science, Elasticity


We investigate the linear and nonlinear viscoelastic properties as well as the reversibility of strain-stiffening behavior of silk fibroin gels. The gels are prepared from 4.2w/v% fibroin solution in the presence of butanediol diglycidyl ether and N,N,N',N'-tetramethylethylenediamine (TEMED) as a cross-linker and catalyst, respectively. By changing the concentration of TEMED in the gelation system, fibroin gels exhibiting a storage modulus G' between 10(-1)-10(5)Pa and a loss factor tan δ between 10(-2) and 10° could be obtained. We observe a strong stiffening (up to 900%) in fibroin gels with increasing strain above 10% deformation, but reversibly if the strain is removed, the gel recovers its initial viscoelastic properties. The strain induced formation of transient intermolecular domains acting as reversible cross-links are responsible for the stiffening behavior of fibroin gels. These additional cross-links formed in the hardened fibroin gels have a temporary nature with lifetimes of the order of seconds. The nonlinear behavior of fibroin gels can be reproduced by a wormlike chain model taking into account the entropic elasticity of fibroin molecules and the strain induced increase in the cross-link density of fibroin gels.

Concepts: Colloid, Worm-like chain, Ideal chain, Viscoelasticity, Gel, Cross-link, Continuum mechanics, Aerogel


Sonic estimation of elasticity via resonance (SEER) sonorheometry is a novel technology that uses acoustic deformation of the developing clot to measure its viscoelastic properties and extract functional measures of coagulation. Multilevel spine surgery is associated with significant perioperative blood loss, and coagulopathy occurs frequently. The aim of this study was to correlate SEER sonorheometry results with those of equivalent rotation thromboelastometry (ROTEM) and laboratory parameters obtained during deformity correction spine surgery.

Concepts: Rotation, Hematology, Fibrinolysis, Hemostasis, Coagulation, Rigid body, Viscoelasticity, Blood


Major surgical procedures often result in significant intra- and postoperative bleeding. The ability to identify the cause of the bleeding has the potential to reduce the transfusion of blood products and improve patient care. We present a novel device, the Quantra Hemostasis Analyzer, which has been designed for automated, rapid, near-patient monitoring of hemostasis. The Quantra is based on Sonic Estimation of Elasticity via Resonance Sonorheometry, a proprietary technology that uses ultrasound to measure clot time and clot stiffness from changes in viscoelastic properties of whole blood during coagulation. We present results of internal validation and analytical performance testing of the technology and demonstrate the ability to characterize the key functional components of hemostasis.

Concepts: Viscoelasticity, Elasticity, Surgery, Blood transfusion, Hematology, Coagulation, Hemostasis, Blood


When hagfish (Myxinidae) are attacked by predators, they form a dilute, elastic, and cohesive defensive slime made of mucins and protein threads. In this study we propose a link between flow behavior and defense mechanism of hagfish slime. Oscillatory rheological measurements reveal that hagfish slime forms viscoelastic networks at low concentrations. Mucins alone did not contribute viscoelasticity, however in shear flow, viscosity was observed. The unidirectional flow, experienced by hagfish slime during suction feeding by predators, was mimicked with extensional rheology. Elongational stresses were found to increase mucin viscosity. The resulting higher resistance to flow could support clogging of the attacker’s gills. Shear flow in contrast decreases the slime viscosity by mucin aggregation and leads to a collapse of the slime network. Hagfish may benefit from this collapse when trapped in their own slime and facing suffocation by tying a sliding knot with their body to shear off the slime. This removal could be facilitated by the apparent shear thinning behavior of the slime. Therefore hagfish slime, thickening in elongation and thinning in shear, presents a sophisticated natural high water content gel with flow properties that may be beneficial for both, defense and escape.

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


The motility of microorganisms is influenced greatly by their hydrodynamic interactions with the fluidic environment they inhabit. We show by direct experimental observation of the bi-flagellated alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii that fluid elasticity and viscosity strongly influence the beating pattern - the gait - and thereby control the propulsion speed. The beating frequency and the wave speed characterizing the cyclical bending are both enhanced by fluid elasticity. Despite these enhancements, the net swimming speed of the alga is hindered for fluids that are sufficiently elastic. The origin of this complex response lies in the interplay between the elasticity-induced changes in the spatial and temporal aspects of the flagellar cycle and the buildup and subsequent relaxation of elastic stresses during the power and recovery strokes.

Concepts: Newtonian fluid, Non-Newtonian fluid, Liquid, Viscoelasticity, Fluid mechanics, Fluid dynamics, Viscosity, Fluid


Needs to impart appropriate elasticity and high toughness to viscoelastic polymer materials are ubiquitous in industries such as concerning automobiles and medical devices. One of the major problems to overcome for toughening is catastrophic failure linked to a velocity jump, i.e., a sharp transition in the velocity of crack propagation occurred in a narrow range of the applied load. However, its physical origin has remained an enigma despite previous studies over 60 years. Here, we propose an exactly solvable model that exhibits the velocity jump incorporating linear viscoelasticity with a cutoff length for a continuum description. With the exact solution, we elucidate the physical origin of the velocity jump: it emerges from a dynamic glass transition in the vicinity of the propagating crack tip. We further quantify the velocity jump together with slow- and fast-velocity regimes of crack propagation, which would stimulate the development of tough polymer materials.

Concepts: Fracture toughness, 2008 albums, Glass, Glass transition, Elasticity, Materials science, Continuum mechanics, Viscoelasticity