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Polymer Core-Polymer Shell Particle Formation Enabled by Ultralow Interfacial Tension Via Internal Phase Separation: Morphology Prediction Using the Van Oss Formalism

Journal article
Authors M. A. Trojer
Anna Ananievskaia
Asvad A Gabul-Zada
L. Nordstierna
Hans Blanck
Published in Colloid and Interface Science Communications
Volume 25
Pages 36-40
ISSN 2215-0382
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 36-40
Language en
Keywords Microcapsule, Solvent evaporation, Core-shell, Raspberry, Janus, Spreading, microcapsules, release, encapsulation, Chemistry, Science & Technology - Other Topics, Materials Science
Subject categories Nano Technology, Chemistry


The internal phase separation technique is a versatile method for liquid core-polymer shell formation, yet limited to very hydrophobic core materials and actives. The use of polymeric cores instead circumvents this restriction due to the absent mixing entropy for binary polymer mixtures which allows the polymeric core (and the active) to approach the polarity of the shell. Polystyrene core-shell and janus particles were formulated using polymethylmethacrylate, poly(lactic acid), poly(lactic acid-co-glycolic acid), poly(epsilon-caprolactone) or cellulose triacetate as shell-forming polymers. The morphology and the partitioning was experimentally determined by selectively staining the core and the shell with beta-carotene and methylene blue respectively. In addition, the van Oss formalism was introduced to theoretically predict the thermodynamic equilibrium morphology. As elucidated using the theoretical predictions as well as experimental optical tensiometry, it was found that the driving force for core-shell morphology is, in contrast to liquid core-polymer shell particles, a low core-shell interfacial tension.

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