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Concept: Viscosity


Inducing thermal gradients in fluid systems with initial, well-defined density gradients results in the formation of distinct layered patterns, such as those observed in the ocean due to double-diffusive convection. In contrast, layered composite fluids are sometimes observed in confined systems of rather chaotic initial states, for example, lattes formed by pouring espresso into a glass of warm milk. Here, we report controlled experiments injecting a fluid into a miscible phase and show that, above a critical injection velocity, layering emerges over a time scale of minutes. We identify critical conditions to produce the layering, and relate the results quantitatively to double-diffusive convection. Based on this understanding, we show how to employ this single-step process to produce layered structures in soft materials, where the local elastic properties vary step-wise along the length of the material.

Concepts: Sociology, Materials science, Viscosity, Fluid dynamics, Experiment, Fluid mechanics, Liquid, Latte


Motility helps many pathogens swim through the highly viscous intestinal mucus. Given the differing outcomes of Campylobacter concisus infection, the motility of eight C. concisus strains isolated from patients with Crohn’s disease (n=3), acute (n=3) and chronic (n=1) gastroenteritis and a healthy control (n=1) were compared. Following growth on solid or liquid media the eight strains formed two groups; however, the type of growth medium did not affect motility. In contrast, following growth in viscous liquid medium seven of the eight strains demonstrated significantly decreased motility. In media of increasing viscosities the motility of C. concisus UNSWCD had two marked increases at viscosities of 20.0 and 74.7 centipoises. Determination of the ability of UNSWCD to swim through a viscous medium, adhere to and invade intestinal epithelial cells showed that while adherence levels significantly decreased with increasing viscosity, invasion levels did not significantly change. In contrast, adherence to and invasion of UNSWCD to mucus-producing intestinal cells increased upon accumulation of mucus, as did bacterial aggregation. Given this aggregation, we determined the ability of the eight C. concisus strains to form biofilms, and showed that all strains formed biofilms. In conclusion, the finding that C. concisus strains could be differentiated into two groups based on their motility may suggest that strains with high motility have an increased ability to swim through the intestinal mucus and reach the epithelial layer.

Concepts: Diarrhea, Biofilm, Stomach, Intestinal epithelium, Respiratory epithelium, Viscosity, Epithelium, Bacteria


We investigate the influences of expansion-contraction microchannels on droplet breakup in capillary microfluidic devices. With variations in channel dimension, local shear stresses at the injection nozzle and focusing orifice vary, significantly impacting flow behavior including droplet breakup locations and breakup modes. We observe transition of droplet breakup location from focusing orifice to injection nozzle, and three distinct types of recently-reported tip-multi-breaking modes. By balancing local shear stresses and interfacial tension effects, we determine the critical condition for breakup location transition, and characterize the tip-multi-breaking mode quantitatively. In addition, we identify the mechanism responsible for the periodic oscillation of inner fluid tip in tip-multi-breaking mode. Our results offer fundamental understanding of two-phase flow behaviors in expansion-contraction microstructures, and would benefit droplet generation, manipulation and design of microfluidic devices.

Concepts: Viscosity, Psychology, Shear stress, Fluid mechanics, Liquid, Microfluidics, Surface tension, Fluid dynamics


Water exists in high- and low-density amorphous ice forms (HDA and LDA), which could correspond to the glassy states of high- (HDL) and low-density liquid (LDL) in the metastable part of the phase diagram. However, the nature of both the glass transition and the high-to-low-density transition are debated and new experimental evidence is needed. Here we combine wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) with X-ray photon-correlation spectroscopy (XPCS) in the small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) geometry to probe both the structural and dynamical properties during the high-to-low-density transition in amorphous ice at 1 bar. By analyzing the structure factor and the radial distribution function, the coexistence of two structurally distinct domains is observed at T = 125 K. XPCS probes the dynamics in momentum space, which in the SAXS geometry reflects structural relaxation on the nanometer length scale. The dynamics of HDA are characterized by a slow component with a large time constant, arising from viscoelastic relaxation and stress release from nanometer-sized heterogeneities. Above 110 K a faster, strongly temperature-dependent component appears, with momentum transfer dependence pointing toward nanoscale diffusion. This dynamical component slows down after transition into the low-density form at 130 K, but remains diffusive. The diffusive character of both the high- and low-density forms is discussed among different interpretations and the results are most consistent with the hypothesis of a liquid-liquid transition in the ultraviscous regime.

Concepts: Small-angle X-ray scattering, Phase transition, Viscosity, Force, X-rays, Glass, Ice, Glass transition


Phase-change materials, such as meta-stable undercooled (supercooled) liquids, have been widely recognized as a suitable route for complex fabrication and engineering. Despite comprehensive studies on the undercooling phenomenon, little progress has been made in the use of undercooled metals, primarily due to low yields and poor stability. This paper reports the use of an extension of droplet emulsion technique (SLICE) to produce undercooled core-shell particles of structure; metal/oxide shell-acetate (‘/' = physisorbed, ’-‘ = chemisorbed), from molten Field’s metal (Bi-In-Sn) and Bi-Sn alloys. These particles exhibit stability against solidification at ambient conditions. Besides synthesis, we report the use of these undercooled metal, liquid core-shell, particles for heat free joining and manufacturing at ambient conditions. Our approach incorporates gentle etching and/or fracturing of outer oxide-acetate layers through mechanical stressing or shearing, thus initiating a cascade entailing fluid flow with concomitant deformation, combination/alloying, shaping, and solidification. This simple and low cost technique for soldering and fabrication enables formation of complex shapes and joining at the meso- and micro-scale at ambient conditions without heat or electricity.

Concepts: Viscosity, Melting point, Supercooling, Metal, Fluid dynamics, Solid, Fluid, Liquid


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


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


Maintenance fluids in critically ill brain-injured patients are part of routine critical care. Both the amounts of fluid volumes infused and the type and tonicity of maintenance fluids are relevant in understanding the impact of fluids on the pathophysiology of secondary brain injuries in these patients. In this narrative review, current evidence on routine fluid management of critically ill brain-injured patients and use of haemodynamic monitoring is summarized. Pertinent guidelines and consensus statements on fluid management for brain-injured patients are highlighted. In general, existing guidelines indicate that fluid management in these neurocritical care patients should be targeted at euvolemia using isotonic fluids. A critical appraisal is made of the available literature regarding the appropriate amount of fluids, haemodynamic monitoring and which types of fluids should be administered or avoided and a practical approach to fluid management is elaborated. Although hypovolemia is bound to contribute to secondary brain injury, some more recent data have emerged indicating the potential risks of fluid overload. However, it is acknowledged that many factors govern the relationship between fluid management and cerebral blood flow and oxygenation and more research seems warranted to optimise fluid management and improve outcomes.

Concepts: Fluid, Illness, Viscosity, Patient, Neurology, Critical thinking, Fluid mechanics, Traumatic brain injury


Dysphagia is estimated to affect ~8% of the world’s population (~590 million people). Texture-modified foods and thickened drinks are commonly used to reduce the risks of choking and aspiration. The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) was founded with the goal of developing globally standardized terminology and definitions for texture-modified foods and liquids applicable to individuals with dysphagia of all ages, in all care settings, and all cultures. A multi-professional volunteer committee developed a dysphagia diet framework through systematic review and stakeholder consultation. First, a survey of existing national terminologies and current practice was conducted, receiving 2050 responses from 33 countries. Respondents included individuals with dysphagia; their caregivers; organizations supporting individuals with dysphagia; healthcare professionals; food service providers; researchers; and industry. The results revealed common use of 3-4 levels of food texture (54 different names) and ≥3 levels of liquid thickness (27 different names). Substantial support was expressed for international standardization. Next, a systematic review regarding the impact of food texture and liquid consistency on swallowing was completed. A meeting was then convened to review data from previous phases, and develop a draft framework. A further international stakeholder survey sought feedback to guide framework refinement; 3190 responses were received from 57 countries. The IDDSI Framework (released in November, 2015) involves a continuum of 8 levels (0-7) identified by numbers, text labels, color codes, definitions, and measurement methods. The IDDSI Framework is recommended for implementation throughout the world.

Concepts: Thickened fluids, Food, Viscosity, Dysphagia, Liquid, Catering, Standardization, International Organization for Standardization


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