Facile synthesis of templated macrocellular nanocomposite scaffold via emulsifier-free HIPE-ROP†
A macrocellular nanocomposite scaffold of crosslinked poly(ε-caprolactone) was made by conducting a ring-opening polymerization of an emulsifier-free Pickering high internal phase emulsion (HIPE). The Pickering HIPE formulation, stabilized using hydrophobically modified silica nanoparticles (mSiNPs), showed extraordinary stability up to a temperature of polymerization as high as 120 °C. The nanocomposite scaffolds demonstrated high porosity and a liquid uptake capacity of up to ∼23 g g−1. The scaffolds decorated with mSiNPs were mechanically robust and showed high resiliency under cyclic compression tests.