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Issue 18, 2011
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Double-emulsion drops with ultra-thin shells for capsule templates

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Abstract

We introduce an emulsification technique that creates monodisperse double-emulsion drops with a core–shell geometry having an ultra-thin wall as a middle layer. We create a biphasic flow in a microfluidic capillary device by forming a sheath flow consisting of a thin layer of a fluid with high affinity to the capillary wall flowing along the inner wall of the capillary, surrounding the innermost fluid. This creates double-emulsion drops, using a single-step emulsification, having a very thin fluid shell. If the shell is solidified, its thickness can be small as a hundred nanometres or even less. Despite the small thickness of this shell, these structures are nevertheless very stable, giving them great potential for encapsulation. We demonstrate this by creating biodegradable microcapsules of poly(lactic acid) with a shell thickness of a few tens of nanometres, which are potentially useful for encapsulation and delivery of drugs, cosmetics, and nutrients.

Graphical abstract: Double-emulsion drops with ultra-thin shells for capsule templates

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 May 2011, accepted on 14 Jul 2011 and first published on 02 Aug 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20434C
Citation: Lab Chip, 2011,11, 3162-3166
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    Double-emulsion drops with ultra-thin shells for capsule templates

    S. Kim, J. W. Kim, J. Cho and D. A. Weitz, Lab Chip, 2011, 11, 3162
    DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20434C

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