Optical coherence viscometry

Hsiao Chuan Liu, Matthew W. Urban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report a technique, named optical coherence viscometry (OCV), to measure the viscosity of Newtonian fluids in a noncontact manner. According to linear wave theory with small amplitudes, capillary waves are associated with fluid mechanical properties. To perform this measurement and avoid the overdamped effects of capillary waves in viscous fluids, transient acoustic radiation force was applied to generate capillary waves. Within a very limited field-of-view using optical coherence tomography, wave motion acquired in the time domain was analyzed using Fourier methods to study the wave velocity dispersion and attenuation relationships for capillary waves, which can reduce the fluid quantity drastically into tissue culture scale. We measure the viscosities of water, water-glycerol solutions with three concentrations, and biological plasma using the proposed OCV and compare the experimental results to theoretical calculations. OCV is sensitive to wave perturbations and can be a promising technique for measuring the viscosity of biological fluids and could be applied in future applications for measurements for lipid membranes in cell biology and tissue engineering investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number164102
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 19 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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