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Fibre-laden flows in biology and biotechnology

Cupples, Gemma (2018)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Fibre-laden fluids are ubiquitous in biological and physical systems; the fibres alter the rheology of the fluid and hence the emergent behaviour of the system. This thesis investigates two physical situations associated with fibrous media. Firstly we optimise the shear-induced alignment of suspensions of elongated particles, motivated by collaboration with Linear Diagnostics Ltd who are developing handheld devices to detect disruptions in fibre alignment due to pathogen presence in biological samples. Incorporating the effects of fibre dispersion and the mechanical anisotropy induced by the particles, we model suspensions of elongated particles undergoing steady or oscillating ow using a Fokker-Planck framework, producing recommendations for designs which optimise the signal to noise ratio. Next, we investigate microscopic propulsion in perfectly aligned media; for example the evolving fibrous structure of cervical mucus and more generally the problem of propulsion and pumping of an active fluid with alignment. We model the swimming of spermatozoa by adapting Taylor's classical swimming sheet model using Ericksen's transversely isotropic constitutive law (a limit of the Fokker-Planck model), to account for an aligned fibrous network. We find that propulsion in fibre-laden fluids is drastically different from Newtonian fluids, supporting the requirement to investigate fibrous rheology.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Smith, David and Dyson, Rosemary
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Mathematics
Additional Information:

G. Cupples, R. J. Dyson, and D. J. Smith. Viscous propulsion in active transversely isotropic media. J. Fluid. Mech., 812; 501-524; 2017;

Subjects:QA Mathematics
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:8308
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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