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18 April 2016 Simulation of controllable permeation in PNIPAAm coated membranes
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Membranes separate fluid compartments and can comprise transport structures for selective permeation. In biology, channel proteins are specialized in their atomic structure to allow transport of specific compounds (selectivity). Conformational changes in protein structure allow the control of the permeation abilities by outer stimuli (gating). In polymeric membranes, the selectivity is due to electrostatic or size-exclusion. It can thus be controlled by size variation or electric charges. Controllable permeation can be useful to determine particle-size distributions in continuous flow, e.g. in microfluidics and biomedicine to gain cell diameter profiles in blood. The present approach uses patterned polyethylene terephthalate (PET) membranes with hydrogel surface coating for permeation control by size-exclusion. The thermosensitive hydrogel poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm) is structured with a cross-shaped pore geometry. A change in the temperature of the water flow through the membrane leads to a pore shape variation. The temperature dependent behavior of PNIPAAm can be numerically modeled with a temperature expansion model, where the swelling and deswelling is depicted by temperature dependent expansion coefficients. In the present study, the free swelling behavior was implemented to the Finite Element tool ABAQUS for the complex composite structure of the permeation control membrane. Experimental values of the geometry characteristics were derived from microscopy images with the tool Image J and compared to simulation results. Numerical simulations using the derived thermo-mechanical model for different pore geometries (circular, rectangle, cross and triangle) were performed. With this study, we show that the temperature expansion model with values from the free swelling behavior can be used to adequately predict the deformation behavior of the complex membrane system. The predictions can be used to optimize the behavior of the membrane pores and the overall performance of the smart membrane.
Conference Presentation
© (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Adrian Ehrenhofer, Thomas Wallmersperger, and Andreas Richter "Simulation of controllable permeation in PNIPAAm coated membranes", Proc. SPIE 9800, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2016, 980016 (18 April 2016);

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