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Polarisation and rheology characterisation of monoolein/water liquid crystal dynamical behaviour during high-viscosity injector extrusion

Authors: C Darmanin, F Babayekhorasani, A Formosa
Publisher: Elsevier
Hypothesis - The use of monoolein/water mixtures in serial crystallography experiments using high-viscosity injectors (HVI) results in significant departures from equilibrium behaviour. This is expected to include changes in phase, viscosity, and associated flow behaviour. It should be possible to detect these changes, in-situ, using a combination of polarisation and rheology characterisation techniques. Experiments - A systematic study was performed using monoolein, varying the water content to create a range of mixtures. Injection induced phase changes within the HVI flow were established using real-time cross-polarization measurements. Dynamic flow characteristics and viscosity was characterized by particle tracking and rheology. Findings - HVI injection induces deformation and phase changes within monoolein (MO)/water mixtures which can be detected through variations in the transmitted intensity during in-situ polarisation studies. The heterogeneity of the extruded sample results in a highly viscous cubic phase in the central region of the stream and a less viscous lamellar-rich phase at the edges adjacent to the walls. The extent of these variations depends on sample composition and injection conditions. Shear-thinning behaviour and increasing heterogeneity in the vicinity of the capillary walls under dynamic flow conditions. This is the first report observing injection induced dynamical behaviour in MO/water mixtures under realistic flow conditions.
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