Synthesis of microcapsules using inverse emulsion periphery RAFT polymerization via SPG membrane emulsification†
Hollow particles have the potential for a broad range of applications, but most specifically drug delivery. However, their synthesis can be tedious, requiring techniques such as high energy input or a sacrificial template. Furthermore, loading the final capsules with drugs, catalysts or any other compound is often associated with a low loading efficiency. In this study, we have explored the use of “Shirasu Porous Glass (SPG)” membrane emulsification to create a wide size range of water droplets stabilized with an amphiphilic block copolymer. Polymeric capsules were subsequently created via inverse emulsion periphery RAFT polymerization (IEPP). By changing the pore size of the SPG membrane (0.2–3 μm), we have succeeded in controlling the polymeric microcapsule size from submicron to tens of microns. In addition to this, the process allowed simultaneous and efficient encapsulation of water-soluble compounds such as proteins.