Meeting Abstract

100-1  Saturday, Jan. 7 13:30 - 13:45  Earwax has properties like paint, enabling self-cleaning ZACHOW, Z*; NOEL, A; HU, DL; Georgia Institute of Technology; Georgia Institute of Technology; Georgia Institute of Technology alexis.noel@gatech.edu

The ear is subject to invaders such as dust, insects, mud and even feces. The secretion of earwax has long been though to protect the ear and remove intruders. We film the motion of the ear canal in humans and measure the rheological properties of earwax of pigs, dogs, cows, and humans. We find that earwax is shear-thinning for all these animals. This ability enables it to cling to the ear in low volumes providing a protective layer to adsorb particles. When large volumes are eventually secreted, the movements of the jaw causes the earwax to flow and fall out of the ear, taking particles with it.