Due to their potential applications as drug delivery systems, nano-components and micro-components are of increasing interest. In particular, environmentally responsive particles, such as pH-responsive core-shell particles, are desirable for their ability to produce custom-tailored release profiles. A series of conventional methods have been used to prepare core-shell particles including emulsion polymerization, layer-by-layer adsorption onto solid particles, templated polymerization and template-assisted electropolymerization. However, such conventional fabrication methods tend to be expensive, time intensive, and typically require immiscible solutions, thus compositionally limiting the components formed.
Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed methods for designed preparation of multiphasic micro-components with defined morphologies and environmental response capabilities using electrohydrodynamic co-jetting of two polymer solutions. Tailoring certain variables, such as the relative jetting solutions’ conductivities and the contained polyelectrolytes, controls the particle morphologies formed. In this way, phase orientation and structure can be predetermined. Additionally, after cross-linking, core-shell particles are stable in aqueous solutions and exhibit reproducible swelling behavior, with external influence by environmental pH. See also UM Files 2932 and 3452.
Applications and Advantages
- Micro- and nano-active ingredient delivery systems
- Sensors and micro-reactors
- Combined imaging and therapeutics
- Food packaging materials
- Compatible with miscible solutions and active ingredient(s)
- Controllable nano-particle morphology
- Responsive to environmental stimuli