New Article in Chem. Mater.

posted Dec 10, 2017, 4:38 AM by Shin-Hyun Kim
Jaehoon Oh, Bomi Kim, Sangmin Lee, Shin-Hyun Kim, and Myungeun Seo, "Semipermeable Microcapsules with a Block Polymer-Templated Nanoporous Membrane", Chemistry of MaterialsAccepted for publication (2017). (J. Oh & B. Kim contributed equally, Co-corresponding author) [pdf]

Microcapsule with nanoporous membranes can regulate transmembrane transport in a size-dependent fashion while protecting active materials in the core from the surrounding, thereby being useful as artificial cell models, carriers for cells and catalyst, and microsensors. In this work, we report a pragmatic microfluidic approach to producing such semipermeable microcapsules with precise control of the cut-off threshold of permeation. Using a homogeneous polymerization mixture for polymerization-induced microphase separation (PIMS) process as the oil phase of water-in-oil-in-water (W/O/W) double emulsions, a densely crosslinked shell composed of a bicontinuous nanostructure that percolates through the entire thickness is prepared, which serves as a template for a monolithic nanoporous membrane of microcapsules with size-selective permeability. We demonstrate the nanopores with precisely controlled size by the block polymer self-assembly governs molecular diffusion through the membrane and renders manipulation of the cut-off threshold.