Coupled non-fickian diffusion and large deformation of hydrogels

Howon Lee, Jiaping Zhang, Jiaxi Lu, John Georgiadis, Hanqing Jiang, Nicholas Fang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Solvent migration in swelling polymer shows complex behaviour, as the interface of wet (rubbery) region moves along with solvent diffusion into the dry (glassy) region, which is accompanied by local deformation. This extrinsic mechanism has led to novel three-dimensional (3D) polymer micro-actuators using direct solvent delivery via microfluidic channels. Here we present experimental techniques to quantify the non-Fickian diffusion in the swelling polymer in an attempt to predict the dynamics of local deformation in such solvent driven micro-actuators. We recorded the evolving diffusion front of solvent in poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEG-DA) hydrogel upon wetting. In order to measure diffusivity of solvent in the polymer, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used. Simulation result from the theory shows good agreement with Case II non-Fickian swelling experiment. We expect that our experimental methods for such coupled diffusion and deformation will help better capture the underlying physics of hydrogel behaviour and provide fundamental basis in exploration of various hydrogel applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMechanics of Time-Dependent Materials and Processes in Conventional and Multifunctional Materials - Proceedings of the 2011 Annual Conference on Experimental and Applied Mechanics
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781461402121
StatePublished - 2011
Event2011 SEM Annual Conference on Experimental and Applied Mechanics - Uncasville, CT, United States
Duration: Jun 13 2011Jun 16 2011

Publication series

NameConference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series
ISSN (Print)2191-5644
ISSN (Electronic)2191-5652


Other2011 SEM Annual Conference on Experimental and Applied Mechanics
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityUncasville, CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Engineering


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