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J Microencapsul. 2007 Aug;24(5):430-44.

Submerged electrosprays: a versatile approach for microencapsulation.

Author information

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University College London. UK. s.jayasinghe@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

The unearthing of fundamental science and technology associated with microencapsulation is an ongoing exciting scientific endeavour focused on by several scientists. Encapsulated structures (containing either a gas, molecules or materials) previously have been shown as having widespread applications across the physical and life sciences. In particular, such methodologies used for forming encapsulations in medical-related studies have shown great promise from diagnostics and imaging, to gene therapy and drug delivery which are only a few amongst several other applications. At present there are numerous 'jet-based' manifestations available for microencapsulation, these primarily root from either capillary or channel-based techniques. The driving mechanisms employed in these approaches exploit aerodynamic/pressure gradients to piezoelectricity. In this paper submerged electrosprays a multipurpose electric field driven jet-based technique is explored for forming near mono-dispersed encapsulations sized in the micrometer range. Our studies elucidate the ability to form microencapsulations containing either a gas or a micro/nanoparticulate-based material suspension as capsules sized in the ranges approximately 65-80 microm, approximately 8-25 microm to approximately 3-14 microm, respectively. We believe this technique can significantly contribute to the microencapsulation field of research based on both the size of the generated encapsulations to the containment of immiscible high viscosity particulate-based suspensions. Furthermore our investigations show the ability to control the production of these encapsulations in terms of both their size and rate of generation with ease; hence demonstrating this electrospray-assisted microencapsulation route as having a wide range of applications. It should be noted that in its present form this technique could be explored for generating emulsions with a variety of materials especially with living organisms for applications in the clinical and biomedical areas of research.

PMID:
17578733
DOI:
10.1080/02652040701369590
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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