Mass transfer enhancement due to a soft elastic boundary

Abhishek Shrivastava, Edward L. Cussler, Satish Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Electrochemical mass transfer experiments are performed in a channel in which one wall is made of a soft polymer gel. Mass transfer is enhanced up to 25% relative to rigid walls when the ratio of viscous to elastic forces on the gel increases above a critical value. The enhancement is attributed to a hydrodynamic instability occurring at the fluid-gel interface. The results suggest that soft elastic boundaries could serve as a mechanism for improving mixing and transport in the laminar flows characteristic of microfluidic devices and other small-scale geometries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4302-4305
Number of pages4
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008


  • Convective transport
  • Gels
  • Interface
  • Laminar flow
  • Mass transfer
  • Mixing

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