STEADY-STATE SIMULATION OF THE CHEMO-ELECTRO-MECHANICAL BEHAVIOUR OF HYDROGELS

M.K. Ghantasala, K.J. Suthar, and D.C. Mancini

Keywords

Hydrogel simulation, finite element analysis, COMSOL, electric stimuli responsive hydrogel, pHsensitive hydrogel

Abstract

The simulation results of the swelling of hydrogels in steady state conditions are presented with an emphasis on its response to environmental stimuli such as solvent pH and external electrical potential. The simulation uses numerical model consisting of three partial differential equations namely the Nernst–Planck equation, Poisson’s equation for electric potential, and the mechanical field equation. Finite element analysis is carried out using multiphysics software, COMSOL, employing a moving mesh method in two dimensions. The effect of buffer solution concentration, fixed charge density, solution pH (2–12), and electric potential (0–2 V) on the swelling or deflection characteristics are studied in separate simulations. These results are in agreement with other published experimental results.

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