Responsive core−shell latex particles as colloidosome microcapsule membranes

Qingchun Yuan, Olivier J. Cayre, Syuji Fujii, Steven P. Armes, Richard A. Williams, Simon Biggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Responsive core-shell latex particles are used to prepare colloidosome microcapsules using thermal annealing and internal cross-linking of the shell, allowing production of the microcapsules at high concentrations. The core-shell particles are composed of a polystyrene core and a shell of poly[2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate]-b-poly[methyl methacrylate] (PDMA-b-PMMA) chains adsorbed onto the core surface, providing steric stabilisation. The PDMA component of adsorbed polymer shell confers the latex particle thermal and pH responsive characteristics, it also provides glass transitions at lower temperatures than that of the core and reactive amine groups. These features facilitate the formation of stable Pickering emulsion droplets and the immobilisation of the latex particle monolayer on these droplets to form colloidosome microcapsules. The immobilisation is achieved through thermal annealing or cross-linking of the shell at mild conditions feasible for large scale economic production.
We demonstrate here that it is possible to anneal the particle monolayer on the emulsion drop surface at 75-86 ºC by using the lower glass transition temperature of the shell compared to that of the polystyrene cores (~108 ºC). The colloidosome microcapsules formed have a rigid membrane basically composed of a monolayer of particles. Chemical cross-linking has also been successfully achieved by confining a cross-linker within the disperse droplet. This approach leads to the formation of single-layered stimulus-responsive soft colloidosome membranes and provides the advantage of working at very high emulsion concentrations since inter-droplet cross-linking is thus avoided. The porosity and mechanical strength of microcapsules are also discussed here in terms of the observed structure of the latex particle monolayers forming the capsule membrane.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18408–18414
Number of pages7
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2010


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