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Transport Phenomena in Gel

Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Fukuoka, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan
Academic Editor: Clemens K. Weiss
Received: 2 March 2016 / Revised: 26 April 2016 / Accepted: 6 May 2016 / Published: 11 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Colloid Chemistry)
PDF [793 KB, uploaded 11 May 2016]


Gel becomes an important class of soft materials since it can be seen in a wide variety of the chemical and the biological systems. The unique properties of gel arise from the structure, namely, the three-dimensional polymer network that is swollen by a huge amount of solvent. Despite the small volume fraction of the polymer network, which is usually only a few percent or less, gel shows the typical properties that belong to solids such as the elasticity. Gel is, therefore, regarded as a dilute solid because its elasticity is much smaller than that of typical solids. Because of the diluted structure, small molecules can pass along the open space of the polymer network. In addition to the viscous resistance of gel fluid, however, the substance experiences resistance due to the polymer network of gel during the transport process. It is, therefore, of importance to study the diffusion of the small molecules in gel as well as the flow of gel fluid itself through the polymer network of gel. It may be natural to assume that the effects of the resistance due to the polymer network of gel depends strongly on the network structure. Therefore, detailed study on the transport processes in and through gel may open a new insight into the relationship between the structure and the transport properties of gel. The two typical transport processes in and through gel, that is, the diffusion of small molecules due to the thermal fluctuations and the flow of gel fluid that is caused by the mechanical pressure gradient will be reviewed. View Full-Text
Keywords: diffusion; friction; scaling theory; colloid gel diffusion; friction; scaling theory; colloid gel

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Tokita, M. Transport Phenomena in Gel. Gels 2016, 2, 17.

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