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Concept: Viscosity


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


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


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


We evaluated the stability of Ebola virus on surfaces and in fluids under simulated environmental conditions for the climate of West Africa and for climate-controlled hospitals. This virus remains viable for a longer duration on surfaces in hospital conditions than in African conditions and in liquid than in dried blood.

Concepts: AIDS, Biological warfare, Atlantic slave trade, Viscosity, Viral hemorrhagic fever, Liquid, Environmental science, Africa


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


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, Particle, Milk, Non-Newtonian fluid, Fluid, Formulations, Viscosity, Coating