Mass release curves as the constitutive curves for modeling diffusive transport within biological tissue

M. Kojic, M. Milosevic, N. Kojic, E. J. Koay, J. B. Fleming, M. Ferrari, A. Ziemys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In diffusion governed by Fick's law, the diffusion coefficient represents the phenomenological material parameter and is, in general, a constant. In certain cases of diffusion through porous media, the diffusion coefficient can be variable (i.e. non-constant) due to the complex process of solute displacements within microstructure, since these displacements depend on porosity, internal microstructural geometry, size of the transported particles, chemical nature, and physical interactions between the diffusing substance and the microstructural surroundings. In order to provide a simple and general approach of determining the diffusion coefficient for diffusion through porous media, we have introduced mass release curves as the constitutive curves of diffusion. The mass release curve for a selected direction represents cumulative mass (per surface area) passed in that direction through a small reference volume, in terms of time. We have developed a methodology, based on numerical Finite Element (FE) and Molecular Dynamics (MD) methods, to determine simple mass release curves of solutes through complex media from which we calculate the diffusion coefficient. The diffusion models take into account interactions between solute particles and microstructural surfaces, as well as hydrophobicity (partitioning). We illustrate the effectiveness of our approach on several examples of complex composite media, including an imaging-based analysis of diffusion through pancreatic cancer tissue. The presented work offers an insight into the role of mass release curves in describing diffusion through porous media in general, and further in case of complex composite media such as biological tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-167
Number of pages12
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Biological tissue
  • Diffusion
  • Equivalent diffusion coefficient
  • Mass release curve
  • Multiscale model
  • Numerical homogenization
  • Porous material

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics


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