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Journal Articles Soft Matter Year : 2021

Sorting of capsules according to their stiffness: from principle to application

Abstract

We assess experimentally the ability of a simple flow-based sorting device, recently proposed numerically by [Zhu et al. , Soft Matter , 2014, 10 , 7705–7711], to separate capsules according to their stiffness. The device consists of a single pillar with a half-cylinder cross-section which partially obstructs a flow channel so that initially centred, propagating capsules deform and circumvent the obstacle into an expanding channel (or diffuser). We perform experiments with millimetric capsules of fixed size which indicate that the deviation of the capsule in the diffuser varies monotonically with a capillary number – the ratio of viscous to elastic stresses – where the elastic stresses are measured independently to include the effects of pre-inflation, membrane thickness and material properties. We find that soft capsules with resistance to deformation differing by a factor of 1.5 can be reliably separated in the diffuser but that experimental variability increases significantly with capsule stiffness. We extend the study to populations of microcapsules with size polydispersity. We find that the combined effects of increasing capsule deformability and relative constriction of the device with increasing capsule size enable the tuning of the imposed flow so that capsules can be separated based on their shear modulus but irrespectively of their size.
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Dates and versions

hal-03274318 , version 1 (30-06-2021)

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Edgar Häner, Doriane Vesperini, Anne-Virginie Salsac, Anne Le Goff, Anne Juel. Sorting of capsules according to their stiffness: from principle to application. Soft Matter, 2021, 17 (13), pp.3722-3732. ⟨10.1039/d0sm02249g⟩. ⟨hal-03274318⟩
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