In this paper, we discuss the rheological properties of aqueous solutions of a rigid triple-helical polysaccharide, schizophyllan (SPG), in isotropic, biphasic, and fully anisotropic phases. Both steady shear and dynamic rheological behaviors reveal remarkable changes when SPG solutions pass through the three phases. The steady shear flow exhibits shear thickening at low shear rates for anisotropic SPG liquid crystalline samples, which is attributed to the shear-induced cholesteric to nematic transformation. The first normal stress difference and transient rheological experiments demonstrate that director tumbling is absent or negligible in SPG liquid crystals in the range of examined shear rates. Additionally, the stress relaxation of SPG liquid crystals after flow cessation shows an inverse relation between the relaxation time and preshear rate, as expected by Larson and Mead's theory [Larson and Mead (1989)]. Small amplitude oscillation measurements following flow cessation show decreasing complex modulus with time for SPG liquid crystals, which is probably related to an increase of molecular orientation after flow cessation. The evolutions of complex modulus after flow cessation are discussed in terms of chain persistence length.
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