Composite microcapsules have been aggressively pursued as designed chemical entities for biomedical and other applications. Common preparations rely on multi-step, time consuming processes. Here, we present a single-step approach to fabricate such microcapsules with shells composed of nanoparticle-polyelectrolyte and protein-polyelectrolyte complexes, and demonstrate control of the mechanical and release properties of these constructs. Interfacial polyelectrolyte-nanoparticle and polyelectrolyte-protein complexation across a water-oil droplet interface results in the formation of capsules with shell thicknesses of a few μm. Silica shell microcapsules exhibited a significant plastic response at small deformations, whereas lysozyme incorporated shells displayed a more elastic response. We exploit the plasticity of nanoparticle incorporated shells to produce microcapsules with high aspect ratio protrusions by micropipette aspiration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics