Beta-lactoglobulin fibers under capillary flow
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1021/bm0605917
We describe the capillary flow behavior of gels of beta-lactoglobulin (beta-lg) containing droplets of fibrils and the shear flow alignment of beta-lg fibers in dilute aqueous solutions. Polarized optical microscopy and laser scanning confocal microscopy are used to show that capillary shear flow does not affect the fibril droplet sizes in the beta-lg gels, the system behaving in this respect as a solution of compact colloidal particles under shear flow. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) on dilute aqueous solutions indicates that the fibers can be initially aligned under capillary shear, but this alignment is lost after 18 min of shear. Transmission electron microscopy experiments on the samples studied by SAXS suggest that the loss of orientation is due to a shear-induced breakup of the swollen fibril network. Dynamic and static light scattering on dilute beta-lg fibril aqueous solutions are used to show that before shear beta-lg fibrils behave as strongly interacting semiflexible polymers, while they behave as weakly interacting rods after 18 min of capillary shear.
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