Dynamics of Polymers in Flowing Colloidal Suspensions

TitleDynamics of Polymers in Flowing Colloidal Suspensions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsChen, H, Alexander-Katz, A
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Date Published2011/09/16/

Using hydrodynamic simulations we examine the behavior of single polymers in a confined colloidal suspension under flow. We study the conformations of both, collapsed and noncollapsed polymers. Our results show that the presence of the colloids has a pronounced effect on the unfolding and refolding cycles of collapsed polymers, but does not have a large effect for noncollapsed polymers. Further inspection of the conformations reveals that the strong flow around the colloids and the direct physical compressions exerted on a globular polymer diffusing in between colloidal shear bands largely facilitate the initiation and unraveling of the globular chains. These results are important for rheological studies of (bio)polymer-(bio)colloid mixtures.