Work is underway to develop high energy density active materials based upon biological processes. These materials utilize the controlled transport of charge and fluid across a selectively-permeable membrane to achieve bulk deformation in a process referred to in the plant kingdom as nastic movements. The nastic material being developed consists of synthetic membranes containing biological ion pumps, ion channels, and ion exchangers surrounding fluid-filled cavities embedded within a polymer matrix. In this paper the formulation of a biological transport model and its coupling with a hyperelastic finite element model of the polymer matrix is discussed. The transport model includes contributions from ion pumps, ion exchangers, solvent flux, and ion channels. This work will form the basis for a feedback loop in material synthesis efforts. The goal of these studies is to determine the relative importance of the various parameters associated with both the polymer matrix and the biological transport components.

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