Highly stiff yet elastic microcapsules incorporating cellulose nanofibrils

Gilad Kaufman, Shomeek Mukhopadhyay, Yekaterina Rokhlenko, Siamak Nejati, Rostislav Boltyanskiy, Youngwoo Choo, Michael Loewenberg, Chinedum O. Osuji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Microcapsules with high mechanical stability and elasticity are desirable in a variety of contexts. We report a single-step method to fabricate such microcapsules by microfluidic interfacial complexation between high stiffness cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) and an oil-soluble cationic random copolymer. Single-capsule compression measurements reveal an elastic modulus of 53 MPa for the CNF-based capsule shell with complete recovery of deformation from strains as large as 19%. We demonstrate the ability to manipulate the shell modulus by the use of polyacrylic acid (PAA) as a binder material, and observe a direct relationship between the shell modulus and the PAA concentration, with moduli as large as 0.5 GPa attained. These results demonstrate that CNF incorporation provides a facile route for producing strong yet flexible microcapsule shells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2733-2737
Number of pages5
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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    Kaufman, G., Mukhopadhyay, S., Rokhlenko, Y., Nejati, S., Boltyanskiy, R., Choo, Y., Loewenberg, M., & Osuji, C. O. (2017). Highly stiff yet elastic microcapsules incorporating cellulose nanofibrils. Soft Matter, 13(15), 2733-2737. https://doi.org/10.1039/C7SM00092H