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Biomacromolecules. 2002 Jan-Feb;3(1):92-9.

Microheterogeneity and microrheology of wheat gliadin suspensions studied by multiple-particle tracking.

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  • 1Biomaterials Processing Research, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Peoria, Illinois 61604, USA.


By monitoring the thermally driven displacements of imbedded polystyrene microspheres via video fluorescence microscopy, we quantified the microstructural and micromechanical heterogeneities of wheat gliadin suspensions. We found that the degree of heterogeneity of the suspensions, as measured by the width and skewness of the microspheres' mean squared displacement (MSD) distribution, increased dramatically over a narrow range of gliadin concentrations. The ensemble-averaged MSD of a 250 mg/mL gliadin suspension exhibited a power-law behavior scaling linearly with time, a behavior similar to that observed for a homogeneous aqueous glycerol solution. However, the MSD distribution was wider and more asymmetric than for glycerol. With increasing concentration of gliadin, the ensemble-averaged MSD rapidly displayed a plateau at small time scales, the MSD distribution became wider and more asymmetric, and the local viscoelastic moduli extracted from multiple-particle-tracking measurements showed an increasingly wide range.

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