Electric Ant Lab
Scientific Modelling & Simulations

Complex-Fluids Research

Electric Ant Lab is an independent private research laboratory providing contract-research consulting and simulation services in the field of rheology and transport of complex fluids. Complex fluids are everywhere, examples range from blood and paint to smart materials such as liquid body armor and magneto-rheological fluids. In many cases their behaviour is not fully understood and there is large potential for improvements and new applications.

pharma mixer blood ferrofluid fresh cement pouring
toothpaste foodstuff paint slurry pumping
Examples of complex fluids with very specific rheology and transport properties (from top left to bottom right): Pharmaceutical components in a mixer, blood, ferrofluids, cement, care products, foodstuff, paint, and slurries.

Deep Insight and Virtual Prototyping

High-fidelity simulation models and virtual experiments in the form of high-performance computer simulations are extremely powerful tools to understand, predict, and improve the rheology and transport of complex fluids and their processing. EAL works at the forefront of this technology, pushing its boundaries, and translates it to solutions in scientific and industrial contexts.

Micro-Dynamics of Complex Fluids

High-fidelity simulations provide quantitative insight into the microstructural origins of rheological effects shown by many complex fluids (e.g. shear-thickening, yield stress, thixotropy, rheopecty) and of transport properties (shear-induced diffusion, mixing and separation). Examples for such complex fluids range from (colloidal and non-colloidal) hard suspensions like fresh concrete, slurries, magneto-rheological fluids, and pastes, to suspensions of deformable objects (e.g. full blood) flowing in complex geometries of any size from microfluidic devices to large mixers. This insight fosters better understanding and allows virtual prototyping of materials in specific applications.

Blood and Cellular Hemostasis

One specific focus of our work lies on the detailed modeling of flow and transport of blood cells in microfluidic and biomedical devices. Our blood models not only fully resolve relevant physics down to the sub-micrometer scale but also include models for cell biochemistry such as for membrane receptors and factors that play an important role in cellular haemostasis. Using these models transport, adhesion, and aggregation of cells in blood vessels and microfluidic and organ-on-a-chip devices can be predicted.

Non-traditional CFD and HPC

We develop state-of-the-art models based on Lattice-Boltzmann Methods (rooted in kinetic theory with deeper physics than just Navier-Stokes) and dynamically adapting rigid-body solvers. High-Performance Computing on parallel computing architectures is an important tool to carry out high-fidelity simulation studies within reasonable times.

Partners

For research and access to HPC resources we collaborate with a number of partners including:

FP7 Fortissimo EU FP7 project FORTISSIMO
University of Amsterdam University of Amsterdam, Computational Science and Soft Matter research groups
Technical University Eindhoven TU Eindhoven, technical physics
UnterlassLab TU Wien Unterlass Lab, TU Vienna
Sanquin Research and Blood Bank Sanquin, Dutch blood bank and blood research
Lomonosov Moscow State University Lomonosov Moscow State University
SURFsara SURFsara supercomputing center
HLRS Stuttgart HLRS supercomputing center