Immersed molecular electrokinetic finite element method

Adrian M. Kopacz*, Wing K Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A unique simulation technique has been developed capable of modeling electric field induced detection of biomolecules such as viruses, at room temperatures where thermal fluctuations must be considered. The proposed immersed molecular electrokinetic finite element method couples electrokinetics with fluctuating hydrodynamics to study the motion and deformation of flexible objects immersed in a suspending medium under an applied electric field. The force induced on an arbitrary object due to an electric field is calculated based on the continuum electromechanics and the Maxwell stress tensor. The thermal fluctuations are included in the Navier-Stokes fluid equations via the stochastic stress tensor. Dielectrophoretic and fluctuating forces acting on the particle are coupled through the fluid-structure interaction force calculated within the surrounding environment. This method was used to perform concentration and retention efficacy analysis of nanoscale biosensors using gold particles of various sizes. The analysis was also applied to a human papillomavirus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-199
Number of pages7
JournalComputational Mechanics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Electrokinetics
  • Finite element method
  • Nanoscale biosensors
  • Thermal fluctuations
  • Virus detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics

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