Estimation of the concentration boundary layer adjacent to a flat surface using computational fluid dynamics

Patrick D. Sinko, Louis Parker, Lisa Prahl Wittberg, Christel A.S. Bergström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dissolution-permeation (D/P) experiments are widely used during preclinical development due to producing results with better predictability than traditional monophasic experiments. However, it is difficult to compare absorption across in vitro setups given the propensity to only report apparent permeability. We therefore developed an approach to predict the concentration boundary layer for any D/P device by using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The Navier-Stokes and continuity equation in 2D were solved numerically in MATLAB and by finite element methods in COMSOL v6.1 to predict the momentum (ηf) and concentration ηg boundary layer for a flow over a flat plate, i.e. the classical Blasius boundary layer flow. A MATLAB algorithm was developed to calculate the edge of either boundary layer. The methodology to determine the concentration boundary layer based on Blasius's analysis provided an accurate estimate for both ηf and ηg, resulting in, ηfg, at high Schmidt numbers (Sc ∼ 1000) within 14 % of the Blasius solution and 6.6 % of the accepted Schmidt number correlation (Sc1/3fg). The methodology based on the Blasius analysis of the concentration boundary layer using velocity and concentration profiles computed using CFD presented herein will enable characterization/analysis of complex D/P apparatuses used in preclinical development, where an analytical solution may not be available.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123870
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Estimation of the concentration boundary layer adjacent to a flat surface using computational fluid dynamics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this