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Capsule-substrate Adhesion in the Presence of Osmosis by the Immersed Interface Method

Authors: P.G. Jayathilake, B.C. Khoo, Zhijun Tan


A two-dimensional thin-walled capsule of a flexible semi-permeable membrane is adhered onto a rigid planar substrate under adhesive forces (derived from a potential function) in the presence of osmosis across the membrane. The capsule is immersed in a hypotonic and diluted binary solution of a non-electrolyte solute. The Stokes flow problem is solved by the immersed interface method (IIM) with equal viscosities for the enclosed and surrounding fluid of the capsule. The numerical results obtained are verified against two simplified theoretical solutions and the agreements are good. The osmotic inflation of the adhered capsule is studied as a function of the solute concentration field, hydraulic conductivity, and the initial capsule shape. Our findings indicate that the contact length shrinks in dimension as capsule inflates in the hypotonic medium, and the equilibrium contact length does not depend on the hydraulic conductivity of the membrane and the initial shape of the capsule.

Keywords: Fluid Mechanics, mass transfer, osmosis, Capsule-substrate adhesion, Immersed interface method

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