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Clogging Up The Tube: The Effect of Temperature on the Viscosity of Feeding Tube FormulasChemistryExperimental Investigational_________________________________________________Signature of Sponsoring Teacher__________________________________________________Signature of School Science Fair Coordinator TeacherSameer Agrawal640 W. Scott St.Chicago, IL 60610Grade 7 Table of ContentsAcknowledgments                                                                                       Page 3Purpose and Hypothesis                                                                              Page 4Background Research                                                                                    Page 5Materials                                                                      Page 7Procedure Page 8Results                                                                                                         Page 10Conclusion, Reflection, Application                                                            Page 15Reference List                                                                                              Page 18Acknowledgements I would like to thank my mother for helping me throughout this experiment and providing an extra set of hands for a more accurate experiment and better results. In addition, I would like to thank Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation and Real Food Blends for providing me with feeding tube formulas and feeding tube extension sets to make this experiment possible. I would also like to thank my teacher, Ms. Machado, for having us complete this science fair project to help us learn and investigate topics that are interesting to us. Purpose and HypothesisMany people have trouble eating due to difficulty swallowing, gastrointestinal problems, and other medical conditions. To provide nutrition, they need a feeding tube, a device that feeds into the stomach or intestine without eating by mouth. My sister, Karuna, had a feeding tube for her entire life. People with feeding tubes need to use formulas designed specifically to flow through feeding tubes. The purpose of this experiment is to figure out what the ideal temperature is for a feeding tube formula by measuring the viscosity of a variety of formulas. If the formula is too thick, the tube can get clogged, which happened numerous times to my sister Karuna. On the other hand, if the formula is too thin, it flows too fast and can cause reflux, vomiting, and other medical problems, which also happened to my sister.To determine the effect of temperature on viscosity, I performed two tests: a real-life drip test measuring how a formula flows through an actual external feeding tube at various temperatures; and a falling sphere test that allowed me to calculate the viscosity of the formula at different temperatures. I then repeated the entire experiment for 4 separate formulas to ensure the results were consistent.I hypothesized that as the temperature of the feeding tube formula decreases, then the viscosity will increase, because I know that when something cools, it is often thicker or flows slower.Background ResearchA feeding tube is a device used to provide nutrition to people who cannot eat by mouth. There are multiple types of feeding tubes. Nasogastric, Nasoduodenal, and Nasojejunal tubes feed through the nose to the gastrointestinal tract; whereas Gastric, Gastrojejunal, and Jejunal tubes feed directly into the gastrointestinal tract through the abdomen (Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation, 2015). People may have feeding tubes due to genetic conditions, neurological and craniofacial disorders, digestive and gastrointestinal conditions, metabolic conditions, structural conditions, swallowing disorders, and other reasons (Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation, 2015). People with feeding tubes are fed using a variety of formulas, which are designed to be used at room temperature. However, people may warm feeding tube formulas because warm food is more comfortable and standard for the person being fed. People also may refrigerate feeding tube formulas because it is safer to store the food at a cold temperature to prevent spoiling (Real Food Blends, n.d.).The viscosity of a formula is extremely important, because too extreme of a viscosity can impact the flow of the formula through the feeding tube. In particular, real food based formulas will become more viscous and thicken because they are made of actual food (McGee, 2017). According to a pediatric nutrition handbook, “High viscosity may predispose to obstruction of pediatric feeding tubes” (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009, p.551). If the formula is too thick, the tube may clog, which may have serious consequences. People may have to be taken to the hospital to have the tube replaced, and they may not receive nutrition while the tube is clogged. On the other hand, if the formula is too thin, a large volume of formula may pour through the tube rapidly, resulting in reflux of the formula, vomiting, or even inhaling the formula into the lungs (Lloyd and Powell-Tuck, 2004, pp.107-116). Viscosity is a measurement in pascal-seconds or poise (p) that represents a fluid’s resistance to flow (Elert, 1998). A simple way to think about viscosity is how fast a fluid flows. Some examples of viscosity measurements are milk, which has 30p viscosity, water at 10p, ketchup at 500p, peanut butter at 2000p, and sour cream at about 1000p (Elert, 1998). There are multiple ways to measure viscosity. One can use a capillary viscometer, which takes a tube and measures the rate of flow of a fluid through it (Dinsdale and Moore, 1962). There is also the falling sphere viscometer, which measures the resistance of flow by dropping a sphere through a liquid (Dinsdale and Moore, 1962).The formula to calculate viscosity using a falling sphere viscometer is known as Stokes’ Law and is: (Sciencebuddies, 2002)where =viscosityp=density of speed – density of fluid g=acceleration due to gravity a=radius of sphere v=velocity of sphere Viscosity is strongly dependent on temperature. The higher a temperature is, the lower the viscosity is, and the lower a temperature, the higher the viscosity is (Paar, n. d.). Therefore, the relationship between temperature and viscosity in all fluids is inversely proportional. For some fluids, a small change in temperature can make a huge difference in viscosity. Materials and ProcedureMaterialsQuantityFeeding Tube Formulas4: 2 standard (Pediasure and Neocate Splash) and 2 food-based (Real Food Blends and Nourish)External Feeding Tube Extension260 mL Syringe2Graduated Cylinder2Marble1Timer1Thermometer1Refrigerator1 Hot Water Bath1Ruler1Gram Scale1Duct Tape1 RollVariablesIndependent Variable: Temperature of formula Dependent Variables: Time for formula to empty in drip test, drop test timeControlled Variables: Ball bearing, formula (within each experiment), graduated cylinder, thermometer, timer, ruler, feeding tube, syringe, gram scale, duct tapeProcedureOBTAIN MEASUREMENTS Measure and calculate the following:Radius of Ball Bearing in cmWeight of Ball Bearing in gVolume of Ball Bearing (calculated) Density of Ball Bearing (calculated as volume divided by mass)Height of Graduated Cylinder (from 0-30mL) using a ruler in cmWeight of Empty Graduated Cylinder in gRecord data above in data collection chart.PREPARE THE FORMULAFirst cool the formula to 3C using a refrigerator, and then do steps 3-5. Repeat steps 3-5 next with room temperature formula at 22C. Repeat steps 3-5 with formula heated in a hot water bath to 32C.REAL LIFE DRIP TEST Attach the syringe without its plunger to the external feeding tube, and hold the tube above a graduated cylinder. For thick formulas that take a longer period of time, use duct tape to secure the syringe to a wall during the test.Clamp tube so no formula leaks in, and then fill the the syringe with 30mL of formula. Unclamp the tube to let the formula flow, and start the timer simultaneously, and stop the timer when all of the liquid reaches the graduated cylinder. Record time.BALL BEARING TEST Take graduated cylinder with 30 mL of liquid in it, and weigh the filled cylinder.Drop the ball bearing into the graduated cylinder. Measure the amount of time it takes for a ball bearing to drop from the 30mL line of the graduated cylinder to the bottom. In thinner formulas where the ball bearing drops quickly, repeat 3 times, and then average the three times. Record times.DATA CALCULATIONCalculate the following:The velocity of the ball bearing (distance divided by falling time) at each temperatureThe density of formula (weight of formula divided by volume of formula)Calculate the viscosity of the fluid by using Stokes’ Law discussed above, which includes the density of the marble, the acceleration, the radius of the sphere, and the velocity.REPEAT ENTIRE EXPERIMENT FOR OTHER FORMULASAfter steps 2-5 are done for one formulas at three different temperatures, repeat these steps for the other 3 formulas, one at a time.Results Below are the results of my experiment that are kept constant and controlled throughout the whole experiment:Radius of Ball Bearing: 0.5cmWeight of Ball Bearing: 4.1gVolume of Ball Bearing (calculated): 0.523cm3Density of Ball Bearing (calculated): 7.8g/cm3Height of Graduated Cylinder (from 0-30mL): 8.4 cmWeight of Empty Graduated Cylinder: 20.5gCool Temperature (Celsius): 3CRoom Temperature (Celsius): 22CHot Temperature (Celsius): 32CTable 1: Results for Real Food Blends FormulaReal Food BlendsColdRoom TemperatureHotTime to drip89 min 40 sec (+2.34% from room temperature)87 min 36 sec68 min 37 sec (-21.74% from room temperature)Time to drop 28.35 sec19.19 sec2.0 secWeight of graduated cylinder (full)52.8g52.8g52.8gVelocity (calculated).30cm/s.44cm/s4.20cm/sVolume of Fluid30mL30mL30mLWeight of Formula32.3g32.3g32.3gDensity1.08g/cm31.08g/cm31.08g/cm3Viscosity (calculated)1291.33p831.36p87.10pTable 2: Results for Neocate Splash FormulaNeocate SplashColdRoom TemperatureHotTime to drip17.4 sec (+42.62% from room temperature)12.2 sec10.7 sec (-12.3% from room temperature)Time to drop trial 1.58 sec.55 sec.50 secTime to drop trial 2.56 sec.32 sec.48 secTime to drop trial 3.68 sec.50 sec.36 secAverage time to drop0.66 sec0.45 sec0.44 secWeight of graduated cylinder (full)52.4g52.4g52.4gVelocity (calculated)12.72cm/s18.67cm/s19.1cm/sVolume of Fluid30mL30mL30mLWeight of Formula31.9g31.9g31.9gDensity1.06g/cm31.06g/cm31.06g/cm3Viscosity (calculated)28.82p19.65p19.22pTable 3: Results from Nourish Formula NourishColdRoom TemperatureHotTime to drip49 min 49 sec (+44.96% from room temperature)34 min 14 sec22 min 20 sec (-34.97% from room temperature)Time to drop trial 13.00 sec.59 sec.48 secTime to drop trial 2N/A.58 sec.40 secTime to drop trial 3N/A.66 sec.48 secAverage time to drop3.00 sec0.61 sec0.45 secWeight of graduated cylinder (full)52.6g52.6g52.6gVelocity (calculated)2.80cm/s13.77cm/s18.67cm/sVolume of Fluid30mL30mL30mLWeight of Formula32.1g32.1g32.1gDensity1.07g/cm31.07g/cm31.07g/cm3Viscosity (calculated)130.86p26.61p19.62pTable 4: Results from Pediasure Formula PediasureColdRoom TemperatureHotTime to drip52.0 sec (+91.88% from room temperature)27.1 sec23.0 sec (-15.13% from room temperature)Time to drop trial 1.58 sec.56 sec.36 secTime to drop trial 2.78 sec.48 sec.43 secTime to drop trial 3.73 sec.57 sec.33 secAverage time to drop0.70 sec0.54 sec0.37 secWeight of graduated cylinder (full)51.9g51.9g51.9gVelocity (calculated)12.00cm/s15.56cm/s22.70cm/sVolume of Fluid30mL30mL30mLWeight of Formula31.4g31.4g31.4gDensity1.05g/cm31.05g/cm31.05g/cm3Viscosity (calculated)30.63p23.62p16.19pFigure 1: Real Life Drip Test Results for Food-Based FormulasFigure 2: Real Life Drip Test Results for Standard FormulasFigure 3: Viscosity of Formulas at Different Temperatures Conclusion, Reflection, and ApplicationConclusion My science fair project is about the viscosity of different feeding tube formulas at different temperatures. I wanted to find out how heating, cooling, or keeping the formulas at room temperature would impact the viscosity of different formulas. I hypothesized that a warmer temperature would cause less resistance to flow and therefore a lower viscosity, and a colder temperature would cause more resistance to flow, and therefore a higher viscosity. My hypothesis was proven correct. I know my hypothesis was proven correct because my data shows that for colder temperatures, both the drip time and calculated viscosity for all four formulas was higher, whereas with a warm temperature, both the drip time and calculated viscosity for all four formulas was lower. I learned that for feeding tube formulas, heating the formula up will lessen the resistance to flow and make the viscosity of the fluid less, and cooling the formula will increase the resistance to flow and make the viscosity of the fluid greater. I also learned that there are huge variations in changes in the viscosity of food-based and standard feeding tube formulas, as demonstrated by both the real-life drip test and the falling sphere test. I also learned that standard formulas may be better cooled so they flow slower, but on the other hand, food-based formulas may be better warmed, so they can flow faster.Reflection My test was moderately fair, and my results were fairly accurate. I would definitely change at least a few things if I did this experiment again. I would use a similar procedure but perhaps a few different materials. There quite possibly could have been a lot of human error involved, particularly in the falling sphere test. When I conducted the falling sphere test, the sphere dropped so fast that my reaction time likely made some of the measurements inaccurate. In most cases, the measurements were hugely dependent on me stopping the timer accurately, and the results could change drastically due to slow reaction time, even just by a few milliseconds. I would either try to automate the timer process or use more accurate equipment to eliminate human error. In addition, during the real-life drip tests, some of the food-based formulas were so slow to drip that their temperature changed during the course of the test. These formulas also clogged the tube slightly a few times, perhaps exaggerating the length of the drip test and therefore the viscosity.To further my experiment, I would not only use better equipment but also take more measurements. The viscosity formula and calculation I used did not take into account a few real-life variables, such as the drag from the sphere’s material, that would take a lot of work to control and measure. I could make my results more accurate using more complicated variables and taking more exact measurements. ApplicationThe results of this experiment can be used in a real life situation because many people in the world have feeding tubes and need formula given through a feeding tube to provide nutrition. Scientists have not studied this topic, even though it is a common real-world problem for people with feeding tubes. People with feeding tubes and their caregivers don’t know if a warm formula or a cold formula is better, so my experiment can help them decide what temperature formula to use, and whether to choose a standard or food-based formulas.The results of my experiment are important in the field of science because they show how viscosity, velocity, and other measurements can change depending on different temperatures, which can connect not only to many people’s lives but also to chemistry and physics. In addition, the results of my experiment are important because scientists have not reported this information in the past.This experiment connects to many people’s lives. People whose tubes are clogging repetitively may warm their formula or use a different formula with a lower viscosity to prevent clogging and tube replacement. On the other hand, those who are refluxing, vomiting, or aspirating may cool their formulas or pick a formula with a higher viscosity to improve health. This experiment explains how and why it is important for feeding tube formulas to be given at a certain temperature, and how the type of formula might impact what temperature is ideal for administration.Reference ListDinsdale, A., and Moore, F. (1962). Viscosity and its Measurement. London: The Physical Society and The Institute of Physics.Elert, G. (1998). Viscosity. The Physics Hypertextbook. Retrieved from Tube Awareness Foundation. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.feedingtubeawareness.orgLloyd, D. A., and Powell-Tuck, J. (2004). Artificial Nutrition: Principles and Practice of Enteral Feeding. Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery, 17(2), 107-116.McGee, R. G. (2017). Nourish. Retrieved from, A. (n. d.). Viscosity. Viscopedia. Retrieved from Nutrition Handbook. (2009). Elk Grove Village: American Academy of Pediatrics.Real Food Blends. (2017). Retrieved from Buddies. (2002). The Viscosity of Motor Oil. Science Buddies. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.orgTrefil, J. S. (1975). Introduction to the Physics of Fluids and Solids. Elmsford: Pergamon Press.


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