Optimizing colloidal transport through porous media is paramount in numerous applications. While this topic is well-studied, prior work has largely focused on passive porous materials, where the physical barriers to transport are fixed in space. However, in nature, these barriers are often dynamic and mobile.
For example, the rhythmic, peristaltic motion of the mammalian gastrointestinal boundaries creates “dynamic pores” that regulate macromolecular diffusion. The wet surfaces of the mammalian lung airway contain cellular appendages that beat in a synchronized, oscillatory manner, posing as dynamic obstacles that regulate the motion of viruses, bacteria, and particulate matter trapped in the sticky mucus microenvironment. These materials can be viewed as dynamic porous media, in which nonequilibrium forces on the boundaries of the porous media generate fluid flows and dynamic interactions that modulate colloidal transport. Currently, a gap exists in the fundamental understanding of how these dynamic interactions determine long-term particle diffusion.
In the December AIChE Journal article, “Colloidal Transport Phenomena in Dynamic, Pulsating Porous Materials,” Sachit Nagella and Sho Takatori (Univ. of California,...
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