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Polymers (Basel). 2018 Aug 10;10(8). pii: E900. doi: 10.3390/polym10080900.

A Robust Fabrication Method for Amphiphilic Janus Particles via Immobilization on Polycarbonate Microspheres.

Author information

1
Department of Food Quality & Safety, Institute for Postharvest and Food Sciences, Volcani Center, ARO, 68 HaMaccabim Road, 7505101 Rishon LeZion, Israel. karthik@agri.gov.il.
2
Department of Food Quality & Safety, Institute for Postharvest and Food Sciences, Volcani Center, ARO, 68 HaMaccabim Road, 7505101 Rishon LeZion, Israel. nogay@agri.gov.il.
3
Department of Food Quality & Safety, Institute for Postharvest and Food Sciences, Volcani Center, ARO, 68 HaMaccabim Road, 7505101 Rishon LeZion, Israel. yafiti@agri.gov.il.
4
Additives and Compounds Division, Tosaf Group, Alon Tavor Industrial Zone, 1812601 Afula, Israel. evgeniz@tosaf.com.
5
Department of Food Quality & Safety, Institute for Postharvest and Food Sciences, Volcani Center, ARO, 68 HaMaccabim Road, 7505101 Rishon LeZion, Israel. guyme@agri.gov.il.

Abstract

Immobilizing particles on beads, fibers, or filaments, when only one side is exposed to the reaction medium and therefore can be selectively functionalized, is a scalable and easy to control strategy for the fabrication of amphiphilic Janus particles. Here we describe a new, robust method for the fabrication of amphiphilic Janus particles based on immobilization of polymethylsilsesquioxane (PMSQ) particles on polycarbonate (PC), a high impact-resistance polymer with superior mechanical properties. The immobilization of the particles on the PC microspores is performed via inverse solvent displacement method. PMSQ particles are added to a PC solution in tetrahydrofuran (THF), a good solvent for PC. The solution is then precipitated by the introduction of aqueous surfactant solution (antisolvent for PC) under an ultrasonic field. It is important to note that THF and water are miscible and do not form emulsion. During precipitation, PMSQ particles are assembled onto the surface of the PC spherical precipitates/microspheres. The exposed hemispheres of the PMSQ particles are then selectively silanized by (3-Aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APTES) to introduce amine groups on their surface. To increase the polarity of the functionalized hemispheres, the amine groups are further modified to introduce carboxyl groups. SEM characterization confirms the fine embedment of PMSQ particles onto the PC microspheres. Covalent attachment of silica nanoparticles (NPs) to the functionalized hemispheres of the resulting particles along with fluorescent confocal microscopy conclusively prove the successful fabrication of amphiphilic Janus particles. The immobilization of particles onto highly rigid polymeric microspheres such as PC may pave the way for the development of a robust fabrication procedure with high resistance to temperature fluctuations and harsh mixing conditions that can arise during preparation. This method can be implemented toward a large variety of other synthetic commercial polymers such as polyamide, polyether sulfones, Polyether, ether ketone, or similar.

KEYWORDS:

Janus particles; amphiphilicity; polycarbonate; polymethylsilsesquioxane; solvent displacement

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