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Biotechnol Bioeng. 2002 Mar 5;77(5):495-516.

Calculation of effective diffusivities for biofilms and tissues.

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Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331-2302, USA.


In this study we describe a scheme for numerically calculating the effective diffusivity of cellular systems such as biofilms and tissues. This work extends previous studies in which we developed the macroscale representations of the transport equations for cellular systems based on the subcellular-scale transport and reaction processes. A finite-difference model is used to predict the effective diffusivity of a cellular system on the basis of the subcellular-scale geometry and transport parameters. The effective diffusivity is predicted for a complex three-dimensional structure that is based on laboratory observations of a biofilm, and these numerical predictions are compared with predictions from a simple analytical solution and with experimental data. Our results indicate that, under many practical circumstances, the simple analytical solution can be used to provide reasonable estimates of the effective diffusivity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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