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MicroPIV methodology using model systems for flow studies in heterogeneous biopolymer gel microstructures

Journal article
Authors Kristin Sott
Tobias Gebäck
Maria Pihl
Niklas Lorén
Anne-Marie Hermansson
Alexey Heintz
Anders Rasmuson
Published in Journal of Colloid and Interface Science
Volume 398
Issue 15 May 2013
Pages 262-269
ISSN 0021-9797
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Mathematical Sciences
Department of Mathematical Sciences, Mathematics
Pages 262-269
Language en
Keywords μPIV; Biomaterial; CLSM; Flow simulation; Mass transport; Micro-PIV; Microfluidics; Microstructure; Model material; PDMS
Subject categories Textile, Rubber and Polymeric Materials, Polymer Technologies, Fluid mechanics, Numerical analysis


A methodology for studying flow in heterogeneous soft microstructures has been developed. The methodology includes: (1) model fractal or random heterogeneous microstructures fabricated in PDMS and characterised using CLSM; (2) μPIV measurements; (3) Lattice–Boltzmann simulations of flow. It has been found that the flow behaviour in these model materials is highly dependent on pore size as well as on the connectivity and occurrence of dead ends. The experimental flow results show good agreement with predictions from the Lattice–Boltzmann modelling. These simulations were performed in geometries constructed from 3D CLSM images of the actual PDMS structures. Given these results, mass transport behaviour may be predicted for even more complex structures, like gels or composite material in, e.g., food or biomaterials. This is a step in the direction towards predictive science with regards to tailoring soft biomaterials for specific mass transport properties.

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