Diffusion in heterogeneous media: Application to immobilized cell systems

Mark R. Riley, Fernando J. Muzzio, Helen M. Buettner, Sebastian C. Reyes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Transport of small molecules in heterogeneous materials can be an important factor in many engineering and biological applications. This study focuses on the diffusion of cellular nutrients in an immobilized cell system. A Monte Carlo simulation technique is used to describe the diffusion of small molecules in a variety of simulated cellular structures. Diffusivity predictions are in close agreement with experimental values as well as with theoretical bounds reported in the literature. It is revealed that effective diffusivities are highly dependent on the diffusivities of the species in the various phases and on the volume fraction of cells. The spatial arrangement of the cells, however, has no apparent effect on the predicted diffusivity for the range of conditions investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-700
Number of pages10
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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