Inks, drilling fluids, shower gels and drug delivery vehicles are just a few examples of the many industrial and consumer products based on colloidal and nanostructured complex fluids. The successful formulation of these materials is promoted by understanding how rheological behaviour, which typically dictates performance, relates to underlying microstructure. However, this knowledge can be difficult to obtain for those without the necessary expertise. This article shows how recent developments in rheometer technology address this issue. New rheometers, exemplified by the Kinexus from Malvern have expert knowledge embedded within the instrument and are able to guide users through measurement and data analysis to relevant information. Such systems facilitate development of the design rules to optimize formulations and generate novel and high performance materials of the future.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(09)70251-2