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Preparation of Multicore Colloidosomes: Nanoparticle-Assembled Capsules with Adjustable Size, Internal Structure, and Functionalities for Oil Encapsulation.

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Brossault, David FF 
McCoy, Thomas M 


Colloidosomes, also known as Pickering emulsion capsules, have attracted attention for encapsulation of hydrophilic and hydrophobic actives. However, current preparation methods are limited to single core structures and require the use of modified/engineered nanoparticles for forming the shell. Here, we report a fast, simple, and versatile method for producing multi-oil core silica colloidosomes via salt-driven assembly of purely hydrophilic commercial nanoparticles dispersed within an oil-in-water-in-oil (O/W/O) double emulsion template. The internal structure and overall diameter of the capsules can be adjusted by altering the primary and secondary emulsification conditions. With this approach, 7-35 μm diameter multicore colloidosomes containing 0.9-4.2 μm large oil cores were produced. The capsules can easily be functionalized depending on the type of nanoparticles used in the preparation process. Here, metal oxide nanoparticles, such as Fe3O4, TiO2, and ZnO, were successfully incorporated within the structure, conferring specific functional properties (i.e., magnetism and photocatalysis) to the final microcapsules. These capsules can also be ruptured by using ultrasound, enabling easy access to the internal core environments. Therefore, we believe this work offers a promising approach for producing multicore colloidosomes with adjustable structure and functionalities for the encapsulation of hydrophobic actives.



double emulsion, magnetism, multicore colloidosome, nanoparticle, oil encapsulation, photocatalysis, self-assembly

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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces

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American Chemical Society (ACS)


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Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/P030467/1)
W D Armstrong PhD studentship Oppenheimer fund fellowship