Photopolymerized Polypyrrole Microvessels



We report on the preparation of water-filled polymer microvessels through the photopolymerization of pyrrole in a water/chloroform emulsion. The resulting structures were characterized by complementary spectroscopic and microscopic techniques, including Raman spectroscopy, XPS, SEM, and TEM. The encapsulation of fluorescent, magnetic, and ionic species within the microvessels has been demonstrated. Confocal microscopy and fluorescence anisotropy measurements revealed that the encapsulated chromophore (Rhodamine 6G) resides within voids in the capsules; however, strong interaction of the dye with polypyrrole results in a measurable decrease in its rotational dynamics. Microvessels loaded with ferrofluid exhibit magnetic properties, and their structures can be directed with an external magnetic field. TEM measurements allowed imaging of individual nanoparticles entrapped within the vessels. The application of Cu2+-loaded microvessels as a transducer layer in all-solid-state ion-selective electrodes was also demonstrated.