Microcapsules with a permeable hydrogel shell and an aqueous core continuously produced in a 3D microdevice by all-aqueous microfluidics

Serhii Mytnyk, Iwona Ziemecka, Alexandre G L Olive, Kartik A. Totlani, Sander Oldenhof, Michiel T. Kreutzer, Volkert Van Steijn, Jan H. Van Esch, J.W.M. van der Meer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We report the continuous production of microcapsules composed of an aqueous core and permeable hydrogel shell, made stable by the controlled photo-cross-linking of the shell of an all-aqueous double emulsion. While most previous work on water-based emulsions focused on active droplet formation, here double emulsion droplets were spontaneously generated at a three-dimensional flow-focusing junction through the break-up of a double jet formed by immiscible aqueous solutions of polyethylene glycol and cross-linkable dextrans. The capsules obtained with this lipid-free, organic-solvent-free, and surfactant-free approach displayed excellent stability under a variety of harsh conditions (3 <pH <13, high salinity). Drying and rehydration experiments demonstrate the permeability of the shell, which may enable molecular-weight-dependent release and uptake of polar solutes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11331-11337
JournalRSC Advances
Volume7
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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