Polymer materials are everywhere, they are found in the materials that construct the keyboard we type on to
the biological building blocks of our body (DNA, cell membranes). Their properties depend on their chemical
composition, topology, size, density and the surrounding matrix. Our group explores the properties of these
wonderful molecules in solution.
We are interested in the similarity between the dynamics of blood cells in flow and the dynamics of polymers
in flow. It has been known for more than 100 years that blood is a complex, non-Newtonian fluid, with
properties that depend on the concentration of blood cells. We develop novel methods to study the effects
of particle deformation on flow properties.
Coarse-grained polymer models are coupled with the fluid dynamics equations are employed to investigate the
complex behavior of DNA molecules in microfluidic flow and under electric fields. We found mechanisms for
concentrating DNA molecules in flow, which could lead to non-Newtonian fluid rheology, as well as mechanisms
for focusing and trapping DNA molecules using counter-rotating vortices.