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Issue 11, 2010
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Formation of liquid-core capsules having a thin hydrogel membrane: liquid pearls

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Abstract

We report an experimental investigation on the formation of liquid-core capsules having a thin hydrogel elastic membrane, named ‘liquid pearls’. These fish-egg-like structures are initially made of a millimetric liquid drop, aqueous or not, coated with an aqueous liquid film containing sodium alginate that gels once the double drop enters a calcium chloride bath. The creation of such pearls with a micrometer-thick membrane requires the suppression of mixing until gelling takes place. Here, we show that superimposing a two-dimensional surfactant precipitation at the interface confers a transient rigidity that can damp the shear-induced instability at impact. Based on this, pearls containing almost any type of liquid can be created. This opens the possibility to use such structures as a new tool for screening microorganism survival and growth in various three-dimensional environments.

Graphical abstract: Formation of liquid-core capsules having a thin hydrogel membrane: liquid pearls

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Nov 2009, accepted on 20 Jan 2010 and first published on 03 Mar 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B923783F
Citation: Soft Matter, 2010,6, 2484-2488
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    Formation of liquid-core capsules having a thin hydrogel membrane: liquid pearls

    N. Bremond, E. Santanach-Carreras, L. Chu and J. Bibette, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 2484
    DOI: 10.1039/B923783F

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