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    Alice Vilotte

    Aggregation, gelation and hydrodynamic spinning of whey proteins

    PhD Student (Univeristy Grenoble Alpes), 2018 - 2021

    Whey protein isolates have received increasing interest due to their high nutritional value and their growing availability on the market as a co-product of cheese production. Whey protein isolates (WPI) can be aggregated upon heating to create new functional properties which depend on aggregate size and structural properties. Based on the fractal properties of these aggregates, one major application is to tex-ture food products by two different ways : by forming a stable and thick suspension of aggregates or by forming a space filling network, through a gelation process. Fractal aggregate size generally ranges from a few hundred nanometres to a few microns at most. However, it would be interesting if their size could reach at least 30 microns (the limit of consumer perception) to increase their thickening power. Up to now, technological routes to create thickening particles were based mainly on the physico-chemical conditions of aggregation. The objective of the PhD is to study new aggregation and gelation processes with the aim to produce novel aggregate structures to enhance their texturising ability.

    Supervised by Hugues Bodiguel (LRP), Clément de Loubens (LRP) and Komla Ako (LRP).

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    Mehdi Maleki

    Rheology and migration of deformable particles in dense suspensions

    PhD Student (Univeristy Grenoble Alpes), 2017 - 2021

    Deformable particles migrate in a sheared suspension. A source of this phenomena would be the collective interactions between particles which rheologically means the emergence of normal stresses generated by direct contact between particles. In this thesis the particle normal stress has been experimentally investigated as an origin of migration of deformable particles. Non-Brownian droplets and microcapsules were used as a model system of deformable particles. A membrane emulsification process was adapted to produce uniform suspensions of microcapsules at high throughput. Then an automatic microfluidic system was developed to measure the elasticity of their shell. In microcapsule suspensions, it was found that the contact viscosities show a shear-thinning behavior. In high volume fraction, the contact viscosity, which originate from normal stress, is the principal contributor to the apparent viscosity. Migration and normal stress of buoyant particles were inferred by measuring the vertical concentration profile in viscous resuspension experiments in a vertical Couette cell. The normal stress varies linearly with the Shields number for droplets and non-linearly with a 0.7 power law for microcapsules as rigid particles. The dependency of the normal stress on the volume fraction is in agreement with the models proposed in the literature for solid particles. All of these results suggest that the migration of deformable particles in dense suspension under shear can be explained by the same rheological laws as for rigid particles, regardless of their deformability (for Ca < 0.4). Furthermore, in the case of capsules, these rheological laws are governed by the solid contacts between the particles.

    Supervised by Hugues Bodiguel (LRP), Marc Léonetti (LRP) and Clément de Loubens (LRP).

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    Antoine Naillon

    Particle migration in viscoelastic flows.

    Post-Doc, 2017-2019


    Particles migrate in the transverse direction of the flow due to the existence of normal stress anisotropy in weakly viscoelastic liquids. We test the ability of theoretical predictions to predict the transverse velocity migration of particles in a confined Poiseuille flow according to the viscoelastic constitutive parameters of dilute polymer solutions. First, we carefully characterize the viscoelastic properties of two families of dilute polymer solutions at various concentrations using shear rheometry and capillary breakup experiments. Second, we develop a specific three-dimensional particle tracking velocimetry method to measure with a high accuracy the dynamics of particles focusing in flow for Weissenberg numbers Wi ranging from 10-2 and 10-1, and particle confinement β of 0.1 and 0.2. The results show unambiguously that the migration velocity scales as Wiβ2, as expected theoretically for weakly elastic flows of an Oldroyd-B liquid. We conclude that classic constitutive viscoelastic laws are relevant to predict particle migration in dilute polymer solutions whereas detailed analysis of our results reveals that theoretical models overestimate by a few tenths the efficiency of particle focusing.

    Supervised by Hugues Bodiguel (LRP) and Clément de Loubens (LRP).

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    Kaili Xie

    Instabilities of micro-capsules in flow – break-up and wrinkle

    PhD Student (Ecole Centrale Marseille), 2015-2019

    Deformable particles such as cells, vesicles and microcapsules exhibit abundant spatiotemporal dynamics in flows. In particular, it is commonly accepted that the membrane mechanical properties and flow types govern these dynamics, for example global deformation and shape oscillation. There also exist locally self-organized shape modulations in response to the flows, for example wrinkling and breakup instabilities. The objective of this thesis is to understand the emergence of such instabilities on microcapsules . The challenge comes to the tunability and control of the membrane rheological properties. We first develop a new formulation of assembling microcapsules made of a thin membrane with widely tunable properties. We describe an original visualization set-up that images microcapsules in orthogonal views, allowing a 3D characterization of pattern formation and the first measurement of wrinkles wavelength. The wrinkling instability is characterized by various scaling laws to highlight the salient parameters. Especially, wrinkling pattern appears above a unique critical capillary number regardless of membrane properties. Wrinkles-to-folds transition is observed if the capillary number is greater than the second critical capillary number. However, under extremely high capillary number, microcapsules surface become stable again, prior to breakup. A phase diagram of capsules breakup in extensional flow is also established and compared to the case of droplets.


    Supervised by Marc Léonetti (LRP), Marc Jaeger (M2P2) and Clément de Loubens (LRP).

  • Nikhila Vijay

    A multi-compartmental mathematical model of the postprandial human stomach

    PhD Student (Massey Univeristy), 2015-2020

    Computational fluid dynamics of the human stomach helps to understand the gastric processes such as trituration, mixing, and transit of digesta. Their outcomes give greater insight into the design of food and orally dosed drug delivery system. Current models of gastric contractile activity are primarily limited to the gastric antrum and assume global values for the various physiological characteristics. This thesis developed a unified compartmental gastric model with correctly informed anatomical and physiological data. The gastric geometry incorporated the actions of multiple compartments, such as the gastric fundus, body, antrum, pyloric canal, proximal duodenal cap, and the small intestinal brake. Lattice-Boltzmann Method (LBM) is used to simulate the fluid dynamics within the stomach. This thesis quantified the effects of transgastric pressure gradient (TGPG) between the fundus and the duodenum, the effect of antral propagating contraction (APC) amplitude, and the viscosity of the gastric contents on gastric flow, mixing, and gastric emptying. The results of this work suggest that TGPG influences gastric emptying and not APCs. Flow rate without TGPG obtained in this work agrees with previous work (Pal et al., 2004); however, it is higher in the presence of a TGPG. Results show that APCs promote recirculation, and the amplitude of APC is vital in this regard. The 'pendulating' flow of gastric content observed in this work is reported previously in duplex sonography experiments (Hausken et al., 1992). This work quantified the gastric shear rates (0.6/s -2.0 /s). This work also suggests that the viscosity of the content influences gastric fluid dynamics. This work is a simplified first step towards a 3D gastric model. Hence, these simulation studies were performed under two simplifications: dimensionality and rheology, i.e., we have assumed a Newtonian fluid flow in 2-D gastric geometry. A 3-D gastric model with more rheologically realistic fluid to explore the pseudoplastic fluid dynamics within the stomach in the future is recommended.

    Supervised by Roger Lentle (Masey Univeristy), Richard Love (Massey Univeristy) and Clément de Loubens (LRP)

  • Ian Lim Yuen Fueng

    Factors influencing mixing and mass transfer in the small intestine.

    PhD Student (Massey University), 2011-2015


    This work sought to determine the factors influencing mixing and mass transfer in the small intestine. Specifically, the work was focussed on the gut periphery (i.e. perivillous region) of the terminal ileum in the brushtail possum (Trichusurus vulpecula). The salient questions to answer were; 1. What are the microrheological properties and disposition of mucus in the perivillous space? 2. What are the disposition and movements of the mucosa and the associated villi during postprandial gut motility patterns of pendular contractions? 3. Are villi rigid structures during physiological levels of lumen flow? The following three main experimental works of this thesis were all conducted using live gut wall samples maintained ex vivo. In addition, computational models were developed incorporating the novel findings detailed in this thesis to assist in visualizing mixing and mass transfer in the perivillous space. 1. The properties of the perivillous fluid environment were assessed by multiple-particle-tracking of the Brownian motion of fluorescent microbeads on gut samples. 2. The movements and disposition of the mucosal surface and associated villi during pendular contractions were observed for whole lengths of everted gut samples. 3. Flow velocities in the perivillous space of gut samples were determined by microparticle-image-velocimetery of microbeads. T he movement of villi in response to physiological levels of lumen flow were quantified by image analysis. The following are the main findings and implications of the work. 1. The perivillous fluid environment consisted of discrete viscoelastic bodies dispersed within a watery Newtonian phase. Such characteristics of the fluid environment were thought to be conducive for mixing and mass transfer, and likened to the processes of gel filtration. 2. Gut pendular contractions generated transient mucosal microfolds, which resulted in the formation of periodic congregation and separation of villous tips. Such a mechanism was predicted (using computational simulations) to augment mixing and mass transfer of nutrients at the gut periphery. 3. Villi were rigid structures, which were more prone to pivot than to bend, while intervillous fluid was predicted to be quasi-static during physiological levels of lumen flow. Such a feature of villi supports a perivillous mixing and mass transfer mechanism driven by mucosal microfolding In conclusion, mixing and mass transfer in the perivillous space are governed by more complex dynamics than previously assumed and by factors previously unknown.

    Supervised by Roger Lentle (Masey Univeristy), Bill Williams (Massey Univeristy) and Clément de Loubens (LRP)