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Colloidal Dispersion Rheology / Microrheology: Theory, Practice and Applications

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bullet_blue.GIF (262 bytes)  Date and Location
bullet_blue.GIF (262 bytes)  Instructors
bullet_blue.GIF (262 bytes)  Course Description
bullet_blue.GIF (262 bytes)  Short Course Registration
bullet_blue.GIF (262 bytes)  Lodging Accommodations

Date and Location

Colloidal Dispersion Rheology (a two-day course)
          October 23 and 24, 2010 (Saturday and Sunday)
Microrheology: Theory, Practice and Applications (a one-day course)
  October 24, 2010 (Sunday)
Option is available for participants to attend the first day of Colloidal Dispersion Rheology course on Saturday and the Microrheology: Theory, Practice and Applications course on Sunday.

All classes will begin at 8:30 am in the Eldorado Hotel & Spa, which is adjacent to the Hilton of Santa Fe.

The short courses are held in conjunction with the 82nd Annual Meeting of The Society of Rheology (October 24 - 28, 2010)

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Colloidal Dispersion Rheology
     Jan Mewis, Professor Emeritus
Department of Chemical Engineering
Catholic University of Leuven

     Norman Wagner, Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Delaware
Microrheology: Theory, Practice and Applications
  Eric M. Furst, Associate Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Delaware
  Patrick S. Doyle, Associate Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  Patrick T. Spicer
Procter and Gamble Co.

Instructor Biosketches

With over 50 years of academic and industrial research experience in the colloid rheology laboratory, including over 100 publications and patents on the topic, Professors Mewis and Wagner have prepared a short course designed for introducing a beginning colloid rheologist to the field. This course is based on a text currently being published. Both have lectured extensively on the topic and have taught short courses at both the beginner and more advanced levels, including courses for the Society of Rheology in the US and the European Rheology Society in Europe.

Professor Eric M. Furst is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware and Director of the Center for Molecular and Engineering Thermodynamics. His research focuses on the physics and chemistry of colloidal, polymeric, biomolecular, and other "soft" materials, with engineering applications in materials for energy conversion, structured and complex fluid stability and rheology, nanotechnology and biotechnology.

Professor Patrick S. Doyle is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on understanding the rheology and dynamics of single polymers, biomolecules, and magnetic colloids under forces and fields. His group has expertise in visualizing single DNA molecules in nano/microfluidic devices, synthesizing functional microparticles and modeling complex fluids using mesoscale simulation techniques.

Patrick T. Spicer is a Technical Section Head in the Procter and Gamble Company’s Complex Fluids Group in Corporate Engineering. His team focuses on fundamental study of microstructured liquids as well as process and product development using complex fluids. His research interests include surfactant phase equilibria and rheology, complex fluid microstructural dynamics, and colloid and nanoparticle production.

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Course Description

Colloidal Dispersion Rheology / Microrheology: Theory, Practice and Applications

Colloidal Dispersion Rheology (Saturday and Sunday)

Instructors: Prof. Jan Mewis and Prof. Norman Wagner


The course is designed to be an introduction to the rheology of colloidal dispersions with emphasis on practical measurement and interpretation of rheological measurements on colloidal dispersions. The object is to provide the participants with:

  1. a qualitative understanding of the various phenomena that contribute to the rheology of suspensions;
  2. scaling relations and quantitative laws to predict the basic rheology of such systems;
  3. strategies to measure, characterize and design suspensions with well defined processing or application properties.

Who Should Take This Course

It is appropriate for students and practitioners of colloid rheology in industry as well as academia. A basic understanding of physical chemistry is necessary with some familiarity with colloidal science and basic rheology helpful but not required.


Two full days with time for discussions of relevant and practical problems (see below).

Course Concept

The suspension course is structured so as to build upon the fundamental understanding of how various properties of colloids and their interactions lead to the observed rheological behavior in a systematic treatment. This starts with systems where only purely hydrodynamic effects are present (i.e., suspensions with non-colloidal particles). Next, colloidal particles are introduced; with Brownian motion but without any particle interaction force. After that, systems with additionally repulsive interparticle forces are dealt with: i.e., colloidally stable systems. Finally attractive forces are added which can lead to flocculated suspensions and colloidal gels. The methods of rheological measurement design and execution are discussed, treating the special difficulties that arise in the case of suspensions. Case studies will be analyzed to illustrate the basic concepts of the course. Finally, special advanced topics are to be included depending on the interest of the students. Time will be available for a question and answer session based on problems and issued submitted by students prior to the course.

Course Outline

1. Rheological Concepts and Rheological Phenomena in Colloidal Dispersions (2 hrs)
  • Basis rheological concepts
  • Overview of rheological phenomena in suspensions (based on case studies)
  • Introduction to Colloid Science
2. Hydrodynamic Effects (Suspensions of Large Particles) (1 hrs)
  • Dilute systems: Relative viscosity and Einstein relation
  • Semi-dilute systems: Hydrodynamic interactions
  • Concentrated systems: Maximum packing, viscosity-concentration relations, effect of particle size distribution
3. Suspensions of Brownian Particles (1.5 hrs)
  • Mechanism of Brownian motion
  • Contribution of Brownian motion to the viscosity
  • Viscoelasticity in suspensions of Brownian Hard Spheres (scaling relations)
  • Structure- Property Relations: Shear thinning and shear thickening
4. Colloidally Stable Suspensions (2 hrs)
  • Electrostatic and Steric stabilization, resulting suspension structure
  • Effect of interparticle repulsion on dilute suspensions
  • Viscosity of concentrated stable suspensions, scaling relations
  • Viscoelastic effects, link to interparticle potential, scaling relations
5. Flocculated Suspensions (2 hrs)
  • Mechanisms of flocculation (electrostatic, depletion, bridging…)
  • Structure of flocculated systems (flocs, agglomerates, particle gels; their description in RDF, fractals, percolation theory, stat diagrams)
  • Viscosity of dilute, flocculated systems
  • Gels and glasses
  • Thixotropy (reversible time effects)
6. Rheological Measurements of Suspensions (1.5 hrs)
  • Special requirements and problems (based on case studies)
  • Measurement strategies
7. Formulation of suspensions for controlled rheology (1.5 hrs)
  • Design rules for formulation suspensions with a given rheology (based on case studies)
8. Advanced Topics in Colloidal Suspension Rheology (depending on student preferences) (2-3 hrs)
  • Suspensions in viscoelastic media (filled polymers, nanocomposites)
  • Suspensions containing non-spherical particles (fibers, rods,..)
  • Microrheology
  • Etc…

Microrheology: Theory, Practice and Applications (Sunday)

Instructors: Prof. Eric M. Furst, Prof. Patrick S. Doyle, and Patrick T. Spicer

For decades, conventional (macroscopic) rheology has been employed as a powerful method to characterize and understand complex biological, technological and industrial soft materials. The past decade, in turn, has seen the development of microrheology, in which the motion of colloidal tracer particles is related to the viscoelastic properties of the surrounding material. Significantly, microrheological measurements require mere microliters of sample, provide an extended range of frequencies, enable spatially resolved rheological measurements, and other benefits. For these reasons, microrheology has emerged as a powerful complement to traditional bulk rheological characterization.

This short course will present a broad overview of microrheology, emphasizing the underlying theory, practical aspects of its implementation and current applications in academic and industrial laboratories. The microrheology literature continues to rapidly evolve, and applications are expanding at an accelerating pace. Participants of this course will learn the key methods and techniques. For instance, microrheological measurements can be as simple as recording video microscopy data. As long as the analysis and sources of experimental error are accounted for appropriately, these simple experiments can yield rich rheological information. The course will cover topics ranging from active microrheology using laser or magnetic tweezers to passive microrheology, such as multiple particle tracking and diffusing wave spectroscopy. Overall, this course will provide a comprehensive introduction to microrheology for industrial and academic researchers who either wish to become informed in this relatively new field of rheology, or seek to incorporate these methods in their own research.

Course Outline

1. Introduction and overview
2. Active microrheology
      a.  Laser tweezers
  1. Principles of optical trapping
  2. Practical aspects of trapping
  3. Back focal plane detection
  b.  Magnetic tweezers
  1. Principles
  2. Practice
3. Passive microrheology
  a.  Introduction to passive microrheology / tracer particle microrheology
  1. Multiple particle tracking
  2. Laser tracking microrheology
  3. Light scattering tracer particle microrheology
  b.  Generalized Stokes-Einstein relationship
  1. Langevin equation
  2. Linear response theory
  c.  Experimental methods
  1. Video microscopy
  2. Particle tracking
  3. Two-point microrheology
  4. Back focal plane microrheology
  5. Light scattering microrheology
  6. DWS / high frequency microrheology
  d.  Analysis
  1. Heterogeneous materials and trajectory statistics
  2. Temporal heterogeneity
  3. Spatial heterogeneity
  4. Non-ergodicity in tracer particle microrheology
  5. Results from the literature
4. Issues and artifacts
  1. Particle surface chemistry
  2. Depletion layers
  3. Chemistry effects
  4. Errors in particle tracking
5. Applications of microrheology
  1. Industrial applications
  2. Kinetic processes and compositional variations
  3. Mixing and sample preparation effects
  4. Microfluidic microrheology and shear history
  5. Interfacial microrheology
  6. Non-linear microrheology
  7. Microrheology of gelation and biomaterials screening

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Short Course Registration

Short course registration includes a complete set of course notes. Payment can be made on line with MasterCard, Visa, Discover, or American Express.

Registration Fee for Through 9/10/10 After 9/10/10
Two-Day Course (Colloidal Dispersion Rheology)    
   Member $575 $675
(includes membership for 2011)
$630 $730
   Student Member $325 $425
   Student Non-Member*
(includes student membership for 2011)
$350 $450
One-Day Course (Microrheology)    
  Member $340 $440
(includes membership for 2011)
$395 $495
  Student Member $190 $290
  Student Non-Member*
(includes student membership for 2011)
$215 $315
First Day of Colloidal Dispersion Rheology + Microrheology**    
  Member $650 $750
(includes membership for 2011)
$705 $805
  Student Member $375 $475
  Student Non-Member*
(includes student membership for 2011)
$400 $500
  *Non-members who are registered to attend the 82nd Annual Meeting may register for the short course at the member rates.
**Includes a complete set of notes for both courses.


bullet_blue.GIF (262 bytes)  Register Online

Registration to Close Friday October 8, 2010

Cancellations for the short course received by electronic mail (c/o The Local Arrangements Chair, Andy Kraynik, amkrayn@sandia.gov) by September 10, 2010 will be refunded minus a $50 administrative charge.  No refunds will be granted after that date. Each class is limited to 40 students.

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Questions can be directed to Professor Michael J. Solomon, University of Michigan, current chair of the SOR Education Committee, at mjsolo@umich.edu.

[82nd Annual Meeting Home Page]

Updated 30 September 2010