Squeezing multiple soft particles into a constriction: Transition to clogging

Bielinski C, Aouane O, Harting J, Kaoui B (2021)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2021


Book Volume: 104

Article Number: 065101

Journal Issue: 6

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.104.065101


We study numerically how multiple deformable capsules squeeze into a constriction. This situation is largely encountered in microfluidic chips designed to manipulate living cells, which are soft entities. We use fully three-dimensional simulations based on the lattice Boltzmann method to compute the flow of the suspending fluid and on the immersed boundary method to achieve the two-way fluid-structure interaction. The mechanics of the capsule membrane elasticity is computed with the finite-element method. We obtain two main states: continuous passage of the particles and their blockage that leads to clogging the constriction. The transition from one state to another is dictated by the ratio between the size of the capsules and the constriction width and by the capsule membrane deformability. The latter is found to enhance particle passage through narrower constrictions, where rigid particles with similar diameter are blocked and lead to clogging.

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Bielinski, C., Aouane, O., Harting, J., & Kaoui, B. (2021). Squeezing multiple soft particles into a constriction: Transition to clogging. Physical Review E, 104(6). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.104.065101


Bielinski, Clément, et al. "Squeezing multiple soft particles into a constriction: Transition to clogging." Physical Review E 104.6 (2021).

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