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Adv Colloid Interface Sci. 2018 May;255:64-75. doi: 10.1016/j.cis.2017.07.021. Epub 2017 Jul 22.

Viscous dynamics of drops and bubbles in Hele-Shaw cells: Drainage, drag friction, coalescence, and bursting.

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Department of Physics and Soft Matter Center, Ochanomizu University, Japan. Electronic address:


In this review article, we discuss recent studies on drops and bubbles in Hele-Shaw cells, focusing on how scaling laws exhibit crossovers from the three-dimensional counterparts and focusing on topics in which viscosity plays an important role. By virtue of progresses in analytical theory and high-speed imaging, dynamics of drops and bubbles have actively been studied with the aid of scaling arguments. However, compared with three-dimensional problems, studies on the corresponding problems in Hele-Shaw cells are still limited. This review demonstrates that the effect of confinement in the Hele-Shaw cell introduces new physics allowing different scaling regimes to appear. For this purpose, we discuss various examples that are potentially important for industrial applications handling drops and bubbles in confined spaces by showing agreement between experiments and scaling theories. As a result, this review provides a collection of problems in hydrodynamics that may be analytically solved or that may be worth studying numerically in the near future.


Drops and bubbles; Hele-Shaw cell; Scaling laws; Thin film; Viscous dynamics

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