Rheological and transport studies of model thin films and membranes, often inspired by biological systems, make use of translational or rotational motion or diffusion of particles trapped in the surface film. Here, we consider the translational mobility of spherical and oblate spheroidal particles protruding into the surrounding subphase liquid. Both the subphase and surface film contribute to the resistance experienced by the particle, which is calculated as a function of the degree of protrusion as well as the viscosity contrast between the surface film and the surrounding fluid. The calculations are based on a combination of a perturbation expansion involving the particle shape and the Lorentz reciprocal theorem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-505
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Oct 25 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


  • interfacial flows (free surface)
  • low-Reynolds-number flows
  • membranes


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