Europhys. Lett.
Volume 66, Number 5, June 2004
Page(s) 667 - 673
Section Electromagnetism, optics, acoustics, heat transfer, classical mechanics, and fluid dynamics
Published online 01 May 2004
Europhys. Lett., 66 (5) , pp. 667-673 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-10242-8

Invagination during the collapse of an inhomogeneous spheroidal shell

L. Pauchard1 and Y. Couder2

1  Laboratoire Fluides, Automatique, Systèmes Thermiques (associé au CNRS et aux Universités Paris 6 et Paris 11) Bâtiment 502, Campus Universitaire d'Orsay, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
2  Laboratoire de Physique Statistique (associé au CNRS et aux Universités Paris 6 et Paris 7) Ecole Normale Supérieure - 24 rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France

(Received 7 August 2003; accepted in final form 12 March 2004)

The collapse of shell-shaped membranes due to buckling is investigated experimentally using droplets of latex suspension left to dry. The evaporation of water, limited by diffusion in air, first leads to the formation, on the surface, of a spheroidal envelope of gel. During the later evolution, spontaneous buckling of this envelope occurs. The later evolution leads to a large-amplitude invagination and for certain concentrations to a transition to a toroidal shape. This specific evolution of a spheroidal envelope, linked with its inhomogeneous mechanical properties, is similar to that observed during the gastrulation of sea-urchin embryos.

46.32.+x - Static buckling and instability.
82.70.Dd - Colloids.
62.10.+s - Mechanical properties of liquids.

© EDP Sciences 2004