Droplet trains reveal how nature navigates blood traffic

phys.org | 5/21/2018 | Staff
catcrazy24 (Posted by) Level 4
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Nearing a decision point, online traffic maps recommend a less-crowded route over the other ways with several slow spots. For most of us, the choice seems clear. Still, have you ever wondered whether this collectively preferring one path may result in a new traffic jam along the chosen road? Indeed, traffic congestions constantly change as the accumulation of drivers' preferences for the "faster path" create new problems. These alternating groups in a system are called a network oscillation. From roadways to computer cable routers and blood vessels, our life is woven in networks of networks. Oscillation is an ubiquitous phenomenon of networks, which are characterized by sets of nodes and paths to choose.

Scientists at the Center for Soft and Living Matter, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) in South Korea, in collaboration with the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN), report that they discovered spontaneous oscillations in microfluidic droplet networks. The scientists have successfully modeled network channels similar to our blood capillaries in the simplest way containing one or two loops. They also suggest that collision between blood cells and irregularity of thickness can dampen oscillations in the biological networks. This study can help us understand the emergence and corresponding behavior of the oscillations of blood flow in microvascular networks.

Experiment - Droplets - Network - Chains - Train

In the experiment, droplets initially spread themselves uniformly in the network, just like long chains of train cars moving at regular intervals. (Fig,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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