Dumbbell formation for elastic capsules in nonlinear extensional Stokes flows
AbstractCross-slot and four-roll-mill microdevices are commonly used for particle manipulation and characterization owing to the stagnation-point flow at the device center. Because of the solid boundaries, these devices may generate extensional Stokes flows where the velocity is a nonlinear function of position associated with a decreased pressure at the particle edges and an increased pressure at the particle middle. Our computational investigation shows that in this class of Stokes flows, an elastic capsule made of a strain-hardening membrane develops two distinct steady-state conformations at strong flows, i.e., an elongated weak dumbbell shape with rounded edges at low flow nonlinearity and a laterally extended dumbbell shape at high flow nonlinearity. These effects are more pronounced for the less strain-hardening capsules which develop a flat extended middle where the two sides of the membrane approach each other. The strong stability properties of the strain-hardening capsules (owing to the development of strong membrane tensions) contrast significantly with the behavior of droplets in these nonlinear flows which are unable to achieve highly deformed steady-state dumbbell shapes owing to their constant surface tension.