On-chip characterization of the viscoelasticity of complex fluids using microcantilevers

Due to the need for a microrheometer monitoring the high-frequency viscoelasticity of soft matter in situ, we describe a cantilever-based microrheometer to achieve this purpose. The elastic and viscous moduli of complex fluids can be measured with an acceptable accuracy over a high-frequency bandwidth of 1-100 kHz. Some preliminary data on small samples (~10-100 µL) of simple Newtonian and viscoelastic polymer and surfactant solutions showed the ability to measure the dynamic moduli in the range 0.01-10 kPa. This approach will provide a new way to characterize in situ, dynamic microrheology of minute and trace materials and will advance the field of biorheology, microfluidics and polymer processing.

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