Properties of the spindle-to-cusp transition in extensional capsule dynamics
1 Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland - College Park, MD 20742, USA
2 Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Maryland - College Park, MD 20742, USA
Received: 30 January 2014
Accepted: 23 April 2014
Our earlier letter (Dodson W. R. III and Dimitrakopoulos P., Phys. Rev. Lett., 101 (2008) 208102) revealed that a (strain-hardening) Skalak capsule in a planar extensional Stokes flow develops for stability reasons steady-state shapes whose edges from spindled become cusped with increasing flow rate owing to a transition of the edge tensions from tensile to compressive. A bifurcation in the steady-state shapes was also found (i.e. existence of both spindled and cusped edges for a range of high flow rates) by implementing different transient processes, owing to the different evolution of the membrane tensions. In this paper we show that the bifurcation range is wider at higher viscosity ratio (owing to the lower transient membrane tensions accompanied the slower capsule deformation starting from the quiescent capsule shape), while it contracts and eventually disappears as the viscosity ratio decreases. The spindle-to-cusp transition is shown to represent a self-similar finite-time singularity formation which for real capsules with very small but finite thickness is expected to be an apparent singularity, i.e. formation of very large (but finite) positive and negative edge curvatures.
PACS: 87.16.D- – Membranes, bilayers, and vesicles / 83.50.Jf – Extensional flow and combined shear and extension / 47.11.Hj – Boundary element methods
© EPLA, 2014