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  1. We develop a theory of fluid--structure interaction (FSI) between an oscillatory Newtonian fluid flow and a compliant conduit. We consider the canonical geometries of a 2D channel with a deformable top wall and an axisymmetric deformable tube. Focusing on the hydrodynamics, we employ a linear relationship between wall displacement and hydrodynamic pressure, which has been shown to be suitable for a leading-order-in-slenderness theory. The slenderness assumption also allows the use of lubrication theory, and the flow rate is related to the pressure gradient (and the tube/wall deformation) via the classical solutions for oscillatory flow in a channel and in a tube (attributed to Womersley). Then, by two-way coupling the oscillatory flow and the wall deformation via the continuity equation, a one-dimensional nonlinear partial differential equation (PDE) governing the instantaneous pressure distribution along the conduit is obtained, without \textit{a priori} assumptions on the magnitude of the oscillation frequency (\textit{i.e.}, at arbitrary Womersley number). We find that the cycle-averaged pressure (for harmonic pressure-controlled conditions) deviates from the expected steady pressure distribution, suggesting the presence of a streaming flow. An analytical perturbative solution for a weakly deformable conduit is obtained to rationalize how FSI induces such streaming. In the case of a compliant tube, the results obtained from the proposed reduced-order PDE and its perturbative solutions are validated against three-dimensional, two-way-coupled direct numerical simulations. We find good agreement between theory and simulations for a range of dimensionless parameters characterizing the oscillatory flow and the FSI, demonstrating the validity of the proposed theory of oscillatory flows in compliant conduits at arbitrary Womersley number. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 20, 2024
  2. Experiments have shown that flow in compliant microchannels can become unstable at a much lower Reynolds number than the corresponding flow in a rigid conduit. Therefore, it has been suggested that the wall's elastic compliance can be exploited towards new modalities of microscale mixing. While previous studies mainly focused on the local instability induced by the fluid–structure interactions (FSIs) in the system, we derive a one-dimensional (1-D) model to study the FSI's effect on the global instability. The proposed 1-D FSI model is tailored to long, shallow rectangular microchannels with a deformable top wall, similar to the experiments. Going beyond the usual lubrication flows analysed in these geometries, we include finite fluid inertia and couple the reduced flow equations to a novel reduced 1-D wall deformation equation. Although a quantitative comparison with previous experiments is difficult, the behaviours of the proposed model show, qualitatively, agreement with the experimental observations, and capture several key effects. Specifically, we find the critical conditions under which the inflated base state of the 1-D FSI model is linearly unstable to infinitesimal perturbations. The critical Reynolds numbers predicted are in agreement with experimental observations. The unstable modes are highly oscillatory, with frequencies close to the natural frequency of the wall, suggesting that the observed instabilities are resonance phenomena. Furthermore, during the start-up from an undeformed initial state, self-sustained oscillations can be triggered by FSI. Our modelling framework can be applied to other microfluidic systems with similar geometric scale separation under different operating conditions. 
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  3. We study the dynamics of a ferrofluid thin film confined in a Hele-Shaw cell, and subjected to a tilted non-uniform magnetic field. It is shown that the interface between the ferrofluid and an inviscid outer fluid (air) supports travelling waves, governed by a novel modified Kuramoto–Sivashinsky-type equation derived under the long-wave approximation. The balance between energy production and dissipation in this long-wave equation allows for the existence of dissipative solitons. These permanent travelling waves’ propagation velocity and profile shape are shown to be tunable via the external magnetic field. A multiple-scale analysis is performed to obtain the correction to the linear prediction of the propagation velocity, and to reveal how the nonlinearity arrests the linear instability. The travelling periodic interfacial waves discovered are identified as fixed points in an energy phase plane. It is shown that transitions between states (wave profiles) occur. These transitions are explained via the spectral stability of the travelling waves. Interestingly, multi-periodic waves, which are a non-integrable analogue of the double cnoidal wave, are also found to propagate under the model long-wave equation. These multi-periodic solutions are investigated numerically, and they are found to be long-lived transients, but ultimately abruptly transition to one of the stable periodic states identified. 
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  4. Abstract Microfluidic devices manufactured from soft polymeric materials have emerged as a paradigm for cheap, disposable and easy-to-prototype fluidic platforms for integrating chemical and biological assays and analyses. The interplay between the flow forces and the inherently compliant conduits of such microfluidic devices requires careful consideration. While mechanical compliance was initially a side-effect of the manufacturing process and materials used, compliance has now become a paradigm, enabling new approaches to microrheological measurements, new modalities of micromixing, and improved sieving of micro- and nano-particles, to name a few applications. This topical review provides an introduction to the physics of these systems. Specifically, the goal of this review is to summarize the recent progress towards a mechanistic understanding of the interaction between non-Newtonian (complex) fluid flows and their deformable confining boundaries. In this context, key experimental results and relevant applications are also explored, hand-in-hand with the fundamental principles for their physics-based modeling. The key topics covered include shear-dependent viscosity of non-Newtonian fluids, hydrodynamic pressure gradients during flow, the elastic response (deformation and bulging) of soft conduits due to flow within, the effect of cross-sectional conduit geometry on the resulting fluid–structure interaction, and key dimensionless groups describing the coupled physics. Open problems and future directions in this nascent field of soft hydraulics, at the intersection of non-Newtonian fluid mechanics, soft matter physics, and microfluidics, are noted. 
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  5. null (Ed.)