Bubble dynamics for broadband microrheology of complex fluids

Brice Saint-Michel, Valeria Garbin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
72 Downloads (Pure)


Bubbles in complex fluids are often desirable, and sometimes simply inevitable, in the processing of formulated products. Bubbles can rise by buoyancy, grow or dissolve by mass transfer, and readily respond to changes in pressure, thereby applying a deformation to the surrounding complex fluid. The deformation field around a stationary, spherical bubble undergoing a change in radius is simple and localized, thus making it suitable for rheological measurements. This article reviews emerging approaches to extract information on the rheology of complex fluids by analysing bubble dynamics. The focus is on three phenomena: changes in radius by mass transfer, harmonic oscillations driven by an acoustic wave, and bubble collapse. These phenomena cover a broad range of deformation frequencies, from 10−4–106 Hz, thus paving the way to broadband microrheology using bubbles as active probes. The outstanding challenges that need to be overcome to achieve a robust technique are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101392
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Bubbles
  • Cavitation
  • Extensional rheology
  • Gas diffusion
  • High-frequency rheology
  • Microrheology
  • Ultrasound


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