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Chemically-induced swelling of hydrogels

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Title: Chemically-induced swelling of hydrogels
Author(s): Dolbow, John E.; Fried, Eliot; Ji, Huidi
Subject(s): constitutive theory smart materials experimental fluid mechanics granular materials particulate flows phase transitions biological mechanics
Abstract: We present a theory for the chemically-induced volume transitions of hydrogels. Consistent with experimental observations, we account for a sharp interface separating swelled and collapsed phases of the underlying polymer network. The polymer chains are treated as a solute with an associated diffusion potential and their concentration is assumed to be discontinuous across the interface. In addition to the standard bulk and interfacial equations imposing force balance and solute balance, the theory involves an ancillary interfacial equation imposing configurational force balance. Motivated by experimental observations, we specialize the theory to the situation where the time scale associated with the interface motion is slow compared to those associated with diffusion in the bulk phases. We present a hybrid eXtended-Finite-Element/Level-Set Method (XFE/LSM) for obtaining approximate solutions to the equations arising under this specialization. As an application, we consider the swelling of a spherical specimen whose boundary is traction-free and is in contact with a reservoir of uniform chemical potential. Our numerical results exhibit good qualitative comparison with experimental observations and predict characteristic swelling times that are proportional to the square of the specimen radius. Our results also suggest several possible synthetic pathways that might be pursued as a means to engineer hydrogels with optimal response times.
Issue Date: 2004-01
Publisher: Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (UIUC)
Series/Report: TAM Reports 1017
Genre: Technical ReportArticle
Type: Text
Language: English
ISSN: 0073-5264
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed: is peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS: 2007-03-08
Is Version Of: Published as: John Dolbow, Eliot Fried, Huidi Ji. Chemically-induced swelling of hydrogels. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 52, 51-84 (2004). DOI: 10.1016/S0022-5096(03)00091-7. Copyright 2005 Elsevier.

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  • Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (TAM) Technical Reports
    TAM technical reports include manuscripts intended for publication, theses judged to have general interest, notes prepared for short courses, symposia compiled from outstanding undergraduate projects, and reports prepared for research-sponsoring agencies.

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