[Frustrated Phagocytosis Logo] Science of the Health Effects of Fibers

Dissolving Fibers


These are time lapse photomicrographs of fibers dissolving in simulated lung fluid in a laboratory experiment. Such experiments provide a good way to measure the dissolution rate of fibers as is described in this paper.

Click on the image to view the animation.

Congruent dissolution over a period of 25 days. This type of fiber dissolves starting at the outside and becomes thinner and thinner. Most fiber compositions dissolve in this manner. (mpeg, 431 kB)
Incongruent dissolution over a period of 42 hours. There are a few compositions of this type that dissolve by leaching out some major components of the fiber, whereas the other components dissolve less rapidly. This leaching starts at the outside of the fiber and moves inward toward the center, dissolving from a thinning core. (mpeg, 347 kB)

These fiber dissolution experiments were carried out and the photomicrographs were made by Cheryl Smith.

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