Shreyas Sudhaman

Rheology of Colloidal Gels

Colloidal gels are complex fluids with solid particles dispersed in a liquid medium. Such gels have a wide variety of applications in paints and coatings, food products, drug delivery, oilfields, etc.[1][2] Understanding the rheological, or flow properties of such materials is critical in designing materials for each application. In my project, I use a combination of computer simulation and experiments to discern the key factors––the interparticle interactions, the effect of mechanical disturbances, the hydrodynamic behavior of the solvent, etc.––that influence the rheology of the gel.

Another goal of this project is to predict the long-term stability of gels. The stability of gels is crucial in applications such as drug release systems, which require prolonged and predictable stability to ensure a steady dosage.[3] Experimental observations of long-term stability are often difficult to implement, and simulations provide a possible avenue to understand the stability of gels. My project aims to build models to predict the long-term stability of a gel by simulating gels under mechanical disturbances and recognizing the timeline of gel collapse.

[1] Zaccarelli, E. Colloidal Gels: Equilibrium and Non-Equilibrium Routes. J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 2007, 19 (32), 323101.
[2] Gibaud, T.; Frelat, D.; Manneville, S. Heterogeneous Yielding Dynamics in a Colloidal Gel. Soft Matter 2010, 6 (15), 3482.
[3]J.R. Weiser, W. Mark Saltzman, “Controlled Release for Local Delivery of Drugs: Barriers and Models”, Journal of Controlled Release, vol.190, pp.664-673, 2014