J. Zhang, R. J. Coulston, S. T. Jones, J. Geng, O. A. Scherman and C. Abell,One-Step Fabrication of Supramolecular Microcapsules from Microfluidic Droplets,Science,2012,335(6069), 690-694.
Although many techniques exist for preparing microcapsules, it is still challenging to fabricate them in an efficient and scalable process without compromising functionality and encapsulation efficiency. We demonstrated a simple one-step approach that exploits a versatile host-guest system and uses microfluidic droplets to generate porous microcapsules with easily customizable functionality. The capsules comprise a polymer-gold nanoparticle composite held together by cucurbituril ternary complexes. The dynamic yet highly stable micrometer-sized structures can be loaded in one step during capsule formation and are amenable to on-demand encapsulant release. The internal chemical environment can be probed with surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy.