Furthermore, the chemo-electro-mechanical equilibrium of a hydrogel depends on the chemical composition of the gel and the surrounding solution bath. Due to the presence of bound charges in the hydrogel, this system can be understood as an osmotic cell where differences in the concentration of mobile ions in the gel and solution domain lead to an osmotic pressure difference.
In the present work, a continuum-based numerical model is presented in order to describe the time-dependent swelling behavior of hydrogels. The numerical model is based on the Theory of Porous Media and captures the fluid-solid, fluid-ion and ion-ion interactions. As a direct consequence of the chemo-electro-mechanical equilibrium, the corresponding boundary conditions are defined following the equilibrium conditions. For the interaction of the hydrogel with surrounding mechanical structures, also respective jump condtions are formulated. Finaly, numerical results of the time-dependent behavior of a hydrogel-based chemo-sensor will be presented.