Colloidosomes: Selectively Permeable Capsules Composed of Colloidal Particles

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Science  01 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5595, pp. 1006-1009
DOI: 10.1126/science.1074868

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We present an approach to fabricate solid capsules with precise control of size, permeability, mechanical strength, and compatibility. The capsules are fabricated by the self-assembly of colloidal particles onto the interface of emulsion droplets. After the particles are locked together to form elastic shells, the emulsion droplets are transferred to a fresh continuous-phase fluid that is the same as that inside the droplets. The resultant structures, which we call “colloidosomes,” are hollow, elastic shells whose permeability and elasticity can be precisely controlled. The generality and robustness of these structures and their potential for cellular immunoisolation are demonstrated by the use of a variety of solvents, particles, and contents.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: dinsmore{at} (A.D.D.); abausch{at} (A.R.B.); weitz{at} (D.A.W.)

  • Present address: Department of Physics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003–4525, USA.

  • Present address: Lehrstuhl für Biophysik – E22, Technische Universität München, 85747 Garching, Germany.

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