Research Abstracts Online
2008 - March 2009
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Institute of Technology
School of Mathematics
PI: Maria-Carme Calderer
Finite Element Modeling of Polymer Gels With Biomedical Applications
Gels consist of an elastic polymer network that holds a liquid solvent, which can be characterized as either structured fluids or highly deformable solids. The presence of the polymer network induces viscoelastic behavior within the gel; individually, the polymer strands act as elastic springs, but the cross-linking and entanglement of the polymers make the network resistant to deformations like a viscous fluid.
The motivation for studying gels is both practical and theoretical. From a practical point of view, gels are an important component many biomedical applications. Thus, an understanding of how gels work is crucial for the success of their use. One important component of understanding how gels work is through the use of numerical simulations. These researchers are studying the numerics of gels used in drug-delivery systems and bone replacement devices by using linear and non-linear finite element models. They are using the SDVL for this project.
Catherine Micek, Graduate Student