(349j) Fluorocarbon Oil Reinforced Triple Emulsion Drops

Lee, H., Harvard University
Choi, C. H., Chungnam National University
Abbaspourrad, A., Cornell University
Wesner, C., Procter and Gamble Co.
Caggioni, M., Procter and Gamble Co.
Zhu, T., Procter and Gamble Co.
Nawar, S., Harvard University
Weitz, D. A., Harvard University
There is a significant interest in developing a general class of microcapsules that enable encapsulation of any kind of cargo with high loading efficiency, while simultaneously preventing premature leakage until exposure to some external stimulus such as mechanical force. However, there has been little progress toward the production of microcapsules that fulfills these demands. In this work, we present triple emulsion drops with an ultra-thin fluorocarbon oil layer that separates the innermost cargo from the polymeric shell to provide possible solution to these challenges. The combined favorable effects of omniphobicity and the chemically inert property of fluorocarbon oil enable encapsulation of a broad range of polar and non-polar cargoes as well as prevention of premature leakage of small actives in microcapsules. We use the unprecedented flow control of multi-phasic fluids in microfluidics to produce these multi-layered emulsion drops. They have an ultra-thin intermediate layer that separates the innermost cargo phase from the polymeric shell phase, leading to high loading efficiency of actives in these microcapsules. We demonstrate the effectiveness of these microcapsules by successfully encapsulating small molecules and active biomolecules that would otherwise be very challenging.