Complex Fluids and Biological Physics

Supervisor: Dr. John de Bruyn

Project: Mechanics of Rowing Sculls

Can extend to MSc?:  No

Project Description (Abstract):

The physics of rowing is complex. A rower applies a force to the oar, and the oar transmits this force to the water, but there are a lot of details involved. For instance, the oar bends and twists in response to the forces it feels. How do the mechanical properties of the oar affect rowing performance? This project is part of an ongoing collaboration with Volker Nolte, Western's rowing coach and coach of the Canadian women's rowing team. It will involve the design and construction of an experimental system to measure the torsional properties of rowing sculls, and the use of this system to characterize sculls used in competition.

Project: Mechanical and electrical properties of medical tissue phantoms

Can extend to MSc?:  Yes

Project Description (Abstract):

Polymer materials are used as substitutes for human tissue (phantoms)  in the testing of devices used in magnetic resonance imaging. Ideally, these materials should have mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties that accurately mimic those of tissue in the MRI scanner. In collaboration with Blaine Chronik, I am studying the properties of materials used in this application and working on the development of new phantom materials. This project will involve studying the dielectric properties of currently-used polymer materials and other candidate materials over the range of frequencies relevant to MR studies. Extension to a MSc could involve testing of the new material in the MR system.

Project: Microrheology of a Polymer Gel

Can extend to MSc?:  Yes

Project Description (Abstract):

We are studying a polymer material known as Pluronic 127. This material has interesting rheological properties - in contrast to what happens in most materials, its viscosity increases dramatically as temperature increases. This is due to the formation of a crosslinked network of polymer molecules at higher temperatures. This project will use laser light scattering experiments to probe the structure and viscoelastic properties of this material on micron length scales. Combined with bulk-scale measurements performed using a shear rheometer, results of this work should give us a good physical picture of the structure of this material.


Published on  and maintained in Cascade CMS.