Simulated microgravity in the ring-sheared drop

Patrick M. McMackin, Shannon R. Griffin, Frank P. Riley, Shreyash Gulati, Nicholas E. Debono, Aditya Raghunandan, Juan M. Lopez, Amir H. Hirsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The ring-sheared drop is a module for the International Space Station to study sheared fluid interfaces and their influence on amyloid fibril formation. A 2.54-cm diameter drop is constrained by a stationary sharp-edged ring at some latitude and sheared by the rotation of another ring in the other hemisphere. Shearing motion is conveyed primarily by the action of surface shear viscosity. Here, we simulate microgravity in the laboratory using a density-matched liquid surrounding the drop. Upon shearing, the drop’s deformation away from spherical is found to be a result of viscous and inertial forces balanced against the capillary force. We also present evidence that the deformation increases with increasing surface shear viscosity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
Journalnpj Microgravity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

McMackin, P. M., Griffin, S. R., Riley, F. P., Gulati, S., Debono, N. E., Raghunandan, A., Lopez, J. M., & Hirsa, A. H. (2020). Simulated microgravity in the ring-sheared drop. npj Microgravity, 6(1), [2].