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Development of a novel instrument for viscoelastic characterization of food and biological materials (RHEO)
Start date: Aug 1, 2007, End date: Sep 30, 2008 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The purpose of this study is to develop a new oscillatory squeezing flow instrument for viscoelastic characterization of materials, ranging from very soft biological polymer networks to irregularly shaped solid materials like corn grains. This relatively low-cost and easy-to-use instrument will be suitable to be used as an attachment for commonly available instruments such as the Texture Analyser and Universal Testing Machine, and will make these instruments suitable for frequency sweep type viscoelastic measurements.The dynamic mass of the instrument will be extremely low compared to the conventional instruments, allowing it to reach relatively higher frequencies with very high sensitivity. The proposed method will be tested by using important representative samples from many different scientific disciplines, such as food science, biology, pharmacy, and chemistry.The instrument will be operating with random frequency excitation and will be able to produce large amounts of data in a very short time. In order to validate the results obtained at high frequencies (>100 Hz), the microrheological technique called Diffusing Wave Spectroscopy will be used, and low-frequency data will be validated with a conventional rotational rheometer. This proposal outlines the setup details and working principles of the proposed instrument and the research methodology to validate it.

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