Fluidized Bed Layer-by-Layer Microcapsule Formation
AuthorRichardson, JJ; Teng, D; Bjoernmalm, M; Gunawan, ST; Guo, J; Cui, J; Franks, GV; Caruso, F
PublisherAMER CHEMICAL SOC
University of Melbourne Author/sCaruso, Francesco; Franks, George; Cui, Jiwei; RICHARDSON, JOSEPH JACOB; Richardson, Joseph; Bjornmalm, Axel Mattias Hekansson; Gunawan, Sylvia; TENG, DARWIN; GUO, JUNLING
AffiliationChemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsRichardson, JJ; Teng, D; Bjoernmalm, M; Gunawan, ST; Guo, J; Cui, J; Franks, GV; Caruso, F, Fluidized Bed Layer-by-Layer Microcapsule Formation, LANGMUIR, 2014, 30 (33), pp. 10028 - 10034
Access StatusOpen Access
Polymer microcapsules can be used as bioreactors and artificial cells; however, preparation methods for cell-like microcapsules are typically time-consuming, low yielding, and/or involve custom microfluidics. Here, we introduce a rapid (∼30 min per batch, eight layers), scalable (up to 500 mg of templates), and efficient (98% yield) microcapsule preparation technique utilizing a fluidized bed for the layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly of polymers, and we investigate the parameters that govern the formation of robust capsules. Fluidization in water was possible for particles of comparable diameter to mammalian cells (>5 μm), with the experimental flow rates necessary for fluidization matching well with the theoretical values. Important variables for polymer film deposition and capsule formation were the concentration of polymer solution and the molecular weight of the polymer, while the volume of the polymer solution had a negligible impact. In combination, increasing the polymer molecular weight and polymer solution concentration resulted in improved film deposition and the formation of robust microcapsules. The resultant polymer microcapsules had a thickness of ∼5.5 nm per bilayer, which is in close agreement with conventionally prepared (quiescent (nonflow) adsorption/centrifugation/wash) LbL capsules. The technique reported herein provides a new way to rapidly generate microcapsules (approximately 8 times quicker than the conventional means), while being also amenable to scale-up and mass production.
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