Tiny capsules with different substances on their surface could be useful in medicine and materials technology
Hollow capsules that have a selectively permeable shell are promising candidates as tiny containers for molecules, particles or bubbles, and are becoming increasingly important in a wide variety of applications. But making these kinds of capsules with more than one kind of substance on their shells has been challenging – until now.
Paul Dommersnes, left, from the University of Paris, Diderot, and Jon Otto Fossum, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, were among the team that has come up with a novel way to create patchy capsules.
Credit: Photo: Per Harold Olsen
In a article in the latest edition of Nature Communications, NTNU researcher Jon Otto Fossum and Paul Dommersnes from the University of Paris, Diderot, were part of a team that showed that both Janus and more advanced patchy capsules can be assembled by combining electro-coalescence and electro-hydrodynamic flow in leaky dielectric emulsion drops. This technique can be used with any type of insulating or weakly conductive particles.
Their work is the realization of one possible direction foreseen by the same researchers in a publication in Nature Communications in 2013.
Hollow capsules with two or more substances on their surface are able to organize themselves in specific ways, which means they could be used to grow human skin or other body tissues, or to make porous tissues and composites. They can also be used to transport a variety of substances and release them in specific environments.
Janus capsules, named for the two-faced Roman god, have just two different substances in their shells. They are a sub-group of patchy capsules, which can have more than two different substances in their shells. The researchers were able to make both Janus capsules, with two different substances, and patchy capsules, which had stripes or flecks on them.
Janus and patchy capsules are distinct from Janus and patchy particles, which are solid. These capsules combine the characteristics of Janus or patchy particles, and those of capsules such as colloidosomes.
The different characteristics on the shells of the capsules make them attractive to each other in different ways, depending on the composition of the capsule shells, which means they can create scaffolds suitable for biomedical applications, for assembling electric circuits or optical structures such as photonic crystals, and as vehicles for liquid or molecular transport.
The researchers foresee that their route for designing patchy capsules will facilitate the foundation for many advanced applications, for example, by using microfluidic methods.
The article "Electroformation of Janus and patchy capsules" is in Nature Communications 5:3945 (2014), DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4945.
It is open access and can be viewed at:
Jon Otto Fossum | Eurek Alert!
Two-dimensional dirac materials: Structure, properties, and rarity
01.04.2015 | Science China Press
01.04.2015 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Spring is here and ectotherms, or animals dependent on external sources to raise their body temperature, are becoming more active. Recent studies have shown...
Glass-fronted office buildings are some of the biggest energy consumers, and regulating their temperature is a big job. Now a façade element developed by Fraunhofer researchers and designers for glass fronts is to reduce energy consumption by harnessing solar thermal energy. A demonstrator version will be on display at Hannover Messe.
In Germany, buildings account for almost 40 percent of all energy usage. Heating, cooling and ventilating homes, offices and public spaces is expensive – and...
Outstanding chemical, thermal and tribological properties predestine silicon carbide for the production of ceramic components of high volume. A novel method now overcomes the procedural and technical limitations of conventional design methods for the production of components with large differences in wall thickness and demanding undercuts.
Extremely hard as diamond, shrinking-free manufacturing, resistance to chemicals, wear and temperatures up to 1300 °C: Silicon carbide (SiSiC) bundles all...
In an experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists precisely measured the temperature and structure of aluminum as...
The IPH presents a solution at HANNOVER MESSE 2015 to make ship traffic more reliable while decreasing the maintenance costs at the same time. In cooperation with project partners, the research institute from Hannover, Germany, has developed a sensor system which continuously monitors the condition of the marine gearbox, thus preventing breakdowns. Special feature: the monitoring system works wirelessly and energy-autonomously. The required electrical power is generated where it is needed – directly at the sensor.
As well as cars need to be certified regularly (in Germany by the TÜV – Technical Inspection Association), ships need to be inspected – if the powertrain stops...
25.03.2015 | Event News
19.03.2015 | Event News
17.03.2015 | Event News
01.04.2015 | Materials Sciences
01.04.2015 | Earth Sciences
01.04.2015 | HANNOVER MESSE