Modelling and simulation of immersed polymer networks

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Mathematics

Abstract

Many important biological fluids are composed of a flexible biopolymer network surrounded by a viscous fluid. In mucus, for example, the network plays an important role in disease prevention by trapping possible pathogens and allowing them to be removed by an external bulk flow. While in this example trapping is a desirable property, it may also have the undesirable effect of preventing certain drugs from reaching their intended destination. This project entails developing and using mathematical models to understand transport through the network and how transport is affected by the mechanical and topological properties of the network, as well as the shape and deformability of particles to be transported. The model will incorporate features such as Brownian fluctuations and hydrodynamic interactions and provide a computationally scalable platform to carry out simulations at large-scale. Ultimately, we aim to quantify network properties that allow for the trapping of certain particles and the passage of others and establish how our results could be put to use in drug delivery technologies. This project is inherently multidisciplinary and connects the EPSRC research areas of continuum mechanics, biophysics and soft matter physics, and complex fluids and rheology and clearly links to the EPSRC research theme of Healthcare technologies.

Publications

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Schoeller S (2021) Methods for suspensions of passive and active filaments in Journal of Computational Physics

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509486/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1832024 Studentship EP/N509486/1 01/10/2016 31/03/2020 Timothy Westwood