Smart hydrogel micro-valves are essential components of micro-chemo-mechanical fluid systems. These valves show a transistor-like behavior and are based on phase-changeable polymers. They can open and close micro-fluidic channels depending on chemical concentrations in the fluid. These highly complex systems are challenging to engineer and their development will advance faster if proper simulations take place beforehand.
A concept of how to simulate concentration-triggered, phase-changeable hydrogels is proposed. A simplified flow simulations will be presented to demonstrate the feasibility of this approach and to highlight geometrical problems. Based on the results, structurally more advanced models will be introduced with implemented multi-field solver interactions including thermal, mechanical and fluidic domains. The results of these models show the closing behavior of a micro-valve. The computed parameters of such valves are implemented into a circuit representation, which is capable of efficiently computing large scale micro-fluidic systems using an electric circuit simulator. These methods will help to predict, visualize and understand polymeric swelling behavior and demonstrate the performance of large-scale chip applications before any complex experiment is performed.