Document Type thesis Author Name Salahshoor Pirsoltan, Hossein URN etd-080513-133228 Title Nanoscale structure and mechanical properties of a Soft Material Degree MS Department Civil & Environmental Engineering Advisors Nima Rahbar, Advisor Nathaniel A. Deskins, Committee Member Qi Wen, Committee Member Mazdak P. Tootkaboni, Committee Member Keywords Finite Element Method Molecular Dynamics Hydrogel Soft Material Coarse-Grained Model Date of Presentation/Defense 2013-05-14 Availability unrestricted
Recently, hydrogel have found to be promising biomaterials since their porous structure and hydrophilicity enables them to absorb a large amount of water. In this study the role of water on the mechanical properties of hydrogel are studied using ab-initio molecular dynamics (MD) and coarse-grained simulations. Condensed-Phased Optimized Molecular Potential (COMPASS) and MARTINI force fields are used in the all-atom atomistic models and coarse-grained simulations, respectively. The crosslinking process is modeled using a novel approach by cyclic NPT and NVT simulations starting from a high temperature, cooling down to a lower temperature to model the curing process. Radial distribution functions for different water contents (20%, 40%, 60% and 80%) have shown the crosslinks atoms are more hydrophilic than the other atoms. Diffusion coefficients are quantified in different water contents and the effect of crosslinking density on the water diffusion is studied. Elasticity parameters are computed by constant strain energy minimization in mechanical deformation simulations. It is shown that an increase in the water content results in a decrease in the elastic. Finally, continuum hyper elastic model of contact lens is studied for three different loading scenarios using Finite Element Model.
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