The nematode C. elegans as a complex viscoelastic fluid
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The viscoelastic material properties of the model organism C. elegans were probed with a micropipette deflection technique and modelled with the standard linear solid model. Dynamic relaxation measurements were performed on the millimetric nematode to investigate its viscous characteristics in detail. We show that the internal properties of C. elegans can not be fully described by a simple Newtonian fluid. Instead, a power-law fluid model was implemented and shown to be in excellent agreement with experimental results. The nematode exhibits shear thinning properties and its complex fluid characteristics were quantified. The bending-rate dependence of the internal damping coefficient of C. elegans could affect its gait modulation in different external environments.
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