Convection and diffusion in charged hydrated soft tissues: A mixture theory approach

H. Yao, W. Y. Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


The extracellular matrix of cartilage is a charged porous fibrous material. Transport phenomena in such a medium are very complex. In this study, solute diffusive flux and convective flux in porous fibrous media were investigated using a continuum mixture theory approach. The intrinsic diffusion coefficient of solute in the mixture was defined and its relation to drag coefficients was presented. The effect of mechanical loading on solute diffusion in cartilage under unconfined compression with a frictionless boundary condition was analyzed numerically using the model developed. Both strain-dependent hydraulic permeability and diffusivity were considered. Analyses and results show that (1) In porous media, the convective velocity for each solute phase is different. (2) The solute convection in tissue is governed by the relative convective velocity (i.e., relative to solid velocity). (3) Under the assumption that all the frictional interactions among solutes are negligible, the relative convective velocity for α-solute phase is equal to the relative solvent velocity multiplied by its convective coefficient (H α) which is also known as the hindrance factor in the literature. The relationship between the convective coefficient and the relative diffusivity of solute is presented. (4) Solute concentration profile within the cartilage sample depends on the phase of dynamic compression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanical Engineering

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