Convective polymer assembly for the deposition of nanostructures and polymer thin films on immobilized particles†
We report the preparation of polymer particles via convective polymer assembly (CPA). Convection is used to move polymer solutions and cargo through an agarose gel that contains immobilized template particles. This method both coats and washes the particles in a process that is amenable to automation, and does not depend on passive diffusion or electrical currents, thus facilitating incorporation of fragile and nanoscale objects, such as liposomes and gold nanoparticles, into the thin polymer films. Template dissolution leads to the formation of stable polymer particles and capsules.