Cylinders vs. spheres: Biofluid shear thinning in driven nanoparticle transport

Jeremy A. Cribb, Timothy D. Meehan, Sheel M. Shah, Kwan Skinner, Richard Superfine*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Increasingly, the research community applies magnetophoresis to micro and nanoscale particles for drug delivery applications and the nanoscale rheological characterization of complex biological materials. Of particular interest is the design and transport of these magnetic particles through entangled polymeric fluids commonly found in biological systems. We report the magnetophoretic transport of spherical and rod-shaped particles through viscoelastic, entangled solutions using lambda-phage DNA (λ-DNA) as a model system. In order to understand and predict the observed phenomena, we fully characterize three fundamental components: the magnetic field and field gradient, the shape and magnetic properties of the probe particles, and the macroscopic rheology of the solution. Particle velocities obtained in Newtonian solutions correspond to macroscale rheology, with forces calculated via Stokes Law. In λ-DNA solutions, nanorod velocities are 100 times larger than predicted by measured zero-shear viscosity. These results are consistent with particles experiencing transport through a shear thinning fluid, indicating magnetically driven transport in shear thinning may be especially effective and favor narrow diameter, high aspect ratio particles. A complete framework for designing single-particle magnetic-based delivery systems results when we combine a quantified magnetic system with qualified particles embedded in a characterized viscoelastic medium.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3311-3322
    Number of pages12
    JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


    • DNA
    • Drug delivery
    • Magnetic bead rheology
    • Microrheology
    • Nanorods
    • Nanowires
    • Shape effects


    Dive into the research topics of 'Cylinders vs. spheres: Biofluid shear thinning in driven nanoparticle transport'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this