One-Pot Synthesis of Microcapsules with Nanoscale Inclusions

Authors

  • Xiaobo Hu,

    1. School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology, Altanta, GA 30332-0400, USA
    2. Research Institute of Materials Science, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, P. R. China
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  • Zhen Tong,

    1. Research Institute of Materials Science, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, P. R. China
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  • L. Andrew Lyon

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology, Altanta, GA 30332-0400, USA
    • School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology, Altanta, GA 30332-0400, USA.
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Abstract

Temperature responsive poly(N-isopropylmethacrylamide) (pNIPMAm) microgel capsules around 1 µm containing multiple poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (pNIPAm) nanoinclusions were prepared. This structure was achieved through the addition of a cross-linked pNIPMAm shell to stable, monodispersed aggregates of pNIPAm chains. This one-pot synthetic approach resulted in core/shell microgels at high temperature wherein only the shell (pNIPMAm) component contained stable, covalent cross-links between chains. Thus, upon decreasing the temperature following synthesis, the majority of the encapsulated pNIPAm chains escaped from the shell, resulting in nearly hollow microcapsules. Remnant pNIPAm segments in the microcapsule then form nanoparticulate inclusions upon raising the temperature.

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