Studying solutions at high shear rates: a dedicated microfluidics setup


The development of a dedicated small-angle X-ray scattering setup for the investigation of complex fluids at different controlled shear conditions is reported. The setup utilizes a microfluidics chip with a narrowing channel. As a consequence, a shear gradient is generated within the channel and the effect of shear rate on structure and interactions is mapped spatially. In a first experiment small-angle X-ray scattering is utilized to investigate highly concentrated protein solutions up to a shear rate of 300000 s-1. These data demonstrate that equilibrium clusters of lysozyme are destabilized at high shear rates.
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