Applied Mathematics and Mechanics

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 47–62 | Cite as

Mesoscale modeling of microgel mechanics and kinetics through the swelling transition

  • S. Nikolov
  • A. Fernandez-Nieves
  • A. AlexeevEmail author


The mechanics and swelling kinetics of polymeric microgels are simulated using a mesoscale computational model based on dissipative particle dynamics. Microgels are represented by a random elastic network submerged in an explicit viscous solvent. The model is used to probe the effect of different solvent conditions on the bulk modulus of the microgels. Comparison of the simulation results through the volume phase transition reveals favorable agreement with Flory-Rehner’s theory for polymeric gels. The model is also used to examine the microgel swelling kinetics, and is found to be in good agreement with Tanaka’s theory for spherical gels. The simulations show that, during the swelling process, the microgel maintains a nearly homogeneous structure, whereas deswelling is characterized by the formation of chain bundles and network coarsening.

Key words

soft matter dissipative particle dynamics micromechanics hydrogels 

Chinese Library Classification


2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

65C35 82C80 82B26 


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Copyright information

© Shanghai University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Woodruff School of Mechanical EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.School of PhysicsGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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