Micro-Encapsulation with Nanoplatelet Surfactant
L.Eric Zhang (1,2), Dr. Zhengdong Cheng (1,2)
1. Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering
2. Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center
We demonstrated the possibility to employ both microfluidics and Janus nanopletes to fabricate capsules at micrometer level. Conventional encapsulation technologies apply polymer material as shell structure, which complicates the manufacturing procedure and increases cost of micro capsules. In our work, utilizing the Janus nanoplatelet surfactant developed in our lab, we are able to simplify the encapsulation procedure by integrating the shell material and the emulsifier. The geometry of the capsule comprises a layer of Janus platelet shell, a swellable hydrogel core and encapsulated active ingredient. During the manufacturing the Janus platelet can serve as an emulsion stabilizer and the precursor of the shell structure. With a coaxial microfluidics device, we are able to encapsulate hydrogel and water soluble active ingredients with the Janus nanoplatelet surfactant, and then polymerize the capsules with UV-initiator. The release of active ingredients can be controlled by hydrogel swelling. Several applications with this technique are demonstrated. Such a Janus particle microencapsulation technique has a potential to be applied in biomedical, cosmetic and oil & gas industry.
Keywords: Janus Particles; Microencapsulation; Controlled Release; Hydrogel