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  1. Abstract When a suspension of spherical or near-spherical particles passes through a constriction the particle volume fraction either remains the same or decreases. In contrast to these particulate suspensions, here we observe that an entangled fiber suspension increases its volume fraction up to 14-fold after passing through a constriction. We attribute this response to the entanglements among the fibers that allows the network to move faster than the liquid. By changing the fiber geometry, we find that the entanglements originate from interlocking shapes or high fiber flexibility. A quantitative poroelastic model is used to explain the increase in velocity and extrudate volume fraction. These results provide a new strategy to use fiber volume fraction, flexibility, and shape to tune soft material properties, e.g., suspension concentration and porosity, during delivery, as occurs in healthcare, three-dimensional printing, and material repair. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. Abstract Microtubules are generated at centrosomes, chromosomes, and within spindles during cell division. Whereas microtubule nucleation at the centrosome is well characterized, much remains unknown about where, when, and how microtubules are nucleated at chromosomes. To address these questions, we reconstitute microtubule nucleation from purified chromosomes in meiotic Xenopus egg extract and find that chromosomes alone can form spindles. We visualize microtubule nucleation near chromosomes using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to find that this occurs through branching microtubule nucleation. By inhibiting molecular motors, we find that the organization of the resultant polar branched networks is consistent with a theoretical model where the effectors for branching nucleation are released by chromosomes, forming a concentration gradient that spatially biases branching microtbule nucleation. In the presence of motors, these branched networks are ultimately organized into functional spindles, where the number of emergent spindle poles scales with the number of chromosomes and total chromatin area. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  4. We provide a direct derivation of the typical time derivatives used in a continuum description of complex fluid flows, relying on principles of the kinematics of line elements.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 19, 2024
  5. At low Reynolds numbers, axisymmetric ellipsoidal particles immersed in a shear flow undergo periodic tumbling motions known as Jeffery orbits, with the orbit determined by the initial orientation. Understanding this motion is important for predicting the overall dynamics of a suspension. While slender fibres may follow Jeffery orbits, many such particles in nature are neither straight nor rigid. Recent work exploring the dynamics of curved or elastic fibres have found Jeffery-like behaviour along with chaotic orbits, decaying orbital constants and cross-streamline drift. Most work focuses on particles with reflectional symmetry; we instead consider the behaviour of a composite asymmetric slender body made of two straight rods, suspended in a two-dimensional shear flow, to understand the effects of the shape on the dynamics. We find that for certain geometries the particle does not rotate and undergoes persistent drift across streamlines, the magnitude of which is consistent with other previously identified forms of cross-streamline drift. For this class of particles, such geometry-driven cross-streamline motion may be important in giving rise to dispersion in channel flows, thereby potentially enhancing mixing. 
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