The consequences of yield stress on deployment of a non-Newtonian anti-HIV microbicide gel.
A recent study in South Africa has confirmed, for the first time, that a vaginal gel formulation of the antiretroviral drug Tenofovir, when applied topically, significantly inhibits sexual HIV transmission to women . However the gel for this drug, and anti-HIV microbicide gels in general, have not been designed using full understanding of how gel spreading and retention in the vagina govern successful drug delivery. Elastohydrodynamic lubrication theory can be applied to model such spreading of microbicide gels, which are inherently non-Newtonian [13,15]. A yield stress is emerging as one of the important properties of microbicide gel vehicle deployment, as this may improve retention within the vaginal canal. On the other hand, a yield stress may decrease the initial extent of the coating flow. Here, we first explain a certain yield stress paradox observed generally in many lubrication flows. Four conditions are determined, via scaling analysis, which mitigate the inconsistency in the use of lubrication theory to analyze the specific problem of elastic wall squeezing flow of yield stress fluid. Parameters characterizing these conditions are obtained experimentally for a test gel. Using them, it is shown that the lubrication approximation may be applied to the elastic wall-squeezing problem for this gel.
Tasoglu, S; Park, SC; Peters, JJ; Katz, DF; Szeri, AJ
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