Journal of Fluid Mechanics

On the motion of a small viscous droplet that wets a surface

H. P.  Greenspan a1
a1 Department of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

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A model for the movement of a small viscous droplet on a surface is constructed that is based on the lubrication equations and uses the dynamic contact angle to describe the forces acting on the fluid at the contact line. The problems analysed are: the spreading or retraction of a circular droplet; the advance of a thin two-dimensional layer; the creeping of a droplet or cell on a coated surface to a region of greater adhesion; the distortion of droplet shape owing to surface contamination. Relevant biological problems concerning cell movement and adhesion are described.

(Received April 18 1977)

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