Formation of fully closed microcapsules as microsensors by microfluidic double emulsion
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- Wu, B. & Gong, H. Microfluid Nanofluid (2013) 14: 637. doi:10.1007/s10404-012-1083-7
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Microcapsules templated from microfluidic double emulsions attract a great attention due to their broad new potential applications. We present a method to form transparent polymer microcapsules in small sizes of ~30 μm with aqueous cores and fully closed shells. We controlled the size ratio of the aqueous core to the polymer shell not only by flow rates of the double emulsions, but also by synergetic interaction between surfactants at the interface of immiscible fluids. We also found that fully closed shells can be formed by generating the double emulsion droplets in a jetting regime, in which the aqueous cores are confined centrally in the double emulsion droplets. We demonstrated the formation of barcodes in these microcapsules for multiplexed bioassays. These transparent microcapsules also have wide and high potentials for the development of various microsensors by functionalizing the liquid-state cores with compounds sensitive and responsive to temperature, light or electromagnetic field.