A dynamic model of polyelectrolyte gels

Yoichiro Mori*, Haoran Chen, Catherine Micek, Maria Carme Calderer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


We derive a model of the coupled mechanical and electrochemical effects of polyelectrolyte gels. We assume that the gel, which is immersed in a fluid domain, is an immiscible and incompressible mixture of a solid polymeric component and the fluid. As the gel swells and deswells, the gel-fluid interface can move. Our model consists of a system of partial differential equations for mass and linear momentum balance of the polymer and fluid components of the gel, the Navier- Stokes equations in the surrounding fluid domain, and the Poisson-Nernst-Planck equations for the ionic concentrations on the whole domain. These are supplemented by a novel and general class of boundary conditions expressing mass and linear momentum balance across the moving gel-fluid interface. Our boundary conditions include the permeability boundary conditions proposed in earlier studies. A salient feature of our model is that it satisfies a free energy dissipation identity, in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics. We also show, using boundary layer analysis, that the well-established Donnan condition for equilibrium arises naturally as a consequence of taking the electroneutral limit in our model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-133
Number of pages30
JournalSIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Continuum model
  • Free energy identity
  • Polyelectrolyte gels

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