Post-processing Bijels for Applications
The unique morphological attributes inherent to bijels can lead to desirable transport and mechanical properties for numerous advanced material applications. However, bijels as formed may not be able to withstand the operating or processing conditions involved in these applications. This chapter details how the thermodynamic incompatibility of the fluid phases in bijels can be exploited to lock in the attractive morphology of the soft template, forming free-standing, mechanically robust three-dimensional porous scaffolds for further materials processing or technological use. Specific microstructural characteristics of these bijel-derived scaffolds are discussed, as well as their select applications in the fields of electrochemical devices, regenerative biomaterials, and cell delivery scaffolds. Additionally, this chapter examines some of the possible factors at play in the ability to process bijels into porous scaffolds, and provides potential guidelines for assessing and rationalizing these.