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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Tensorial generalized Stokes–Einstein relation for anisotropic probe microrheology

  • Author(s): Squires, Todd M.
  • Mason, Thomas G.
  • et al.

In thermal “passive” microrheology, the random Brownian motion of anisotropically shaped probe particles embedded within an isotropic viscoelastic material can be used to extract the material’s frequency-dependent linear viscoelastic modulus. We unite the existing theoretical frameworks for separately treating translational and rotational probe motion in a viscoelastic material by extending the generalized Stokes–Einstein relation (GSER) into a tensorial form that reflects simultaneous equilibrium translational and rotational fluctuations of one or more anisotropic probe particles experiencing viscoelastic drag. The tensorial GSER provides a formal basis for interpreting the complex Brownian motion of anisotropic probes in a viscoelastic material. Based on known hydrodynamic calculations of the Stokes mobility of highly symmetric shapes in a simple viscous liquid, we show simple examples of the tensorial GSER for spheroids and half-stick, half-slip Janus spheres.

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