In this paper, we study the effects of initial fixed-charge density on the response behavior of pH-sensitive hydrogels subjected to coupled stimuli, namely, solution pH and externally applied electric field. This is the first instance in which a coupled stimuli numerical analysis has been carried out for these polymer gels, which are used as active sensing/actuating elements in advanced biomicroelectromechanical systems devices. In this work, a chemo-electro-mechanical formulation, termed the multi-effect-coupling pH-stimulus (MECpH) model, is first presented. This mathematical model takes into account the ionic species diffusion, electric potential coupling, and large mechanical deformation. In addition, a correlation between the diffusive hydrogen ions and fixed-charge groups on the hydrogel polymeric chains is established based on the Langmuir absorption isotherm, and incorporated accordingly into the MECpH model. To solve the resulting highly nonlinear and highly coupled partial differential equations of this mathematical model, the Hermite-Cloud method, a novel true meshless technique, is employed. To demonstrate the accuracy and robustness the MECpH model, computed numerical results are compared with experimental data available from literature. Following this validation, several numerical studies are carried out to investigate the effects of initial fixed-charge density on the volumetric variations of these pH-stimulus-responsive hydrogels when immersed in buffered solutions.
Effects of Initial-Fixed Charge Density on pH-Sensitive Hydrogels Subjected to Coupled pH and Electric Field Stimuli: A Meshless Analysis
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Ng, T. Y., Li, H., Yew, Y. K., and Lam, K. Y. (September 4, 2006). "Effects of Initial-Fixed Charge Density on pH-Sensitive Hydrogels Subjected to Coupled pH and Electric Field Stimuli: A Meshless Analysis." ASME. J Biomech Eng. April 2007; 129(2): 148–155. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2472370
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