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Direction-Specific Release from Capsules with Homogeneous or Janus Shells Using an Ultrasound Approach.

ACS applied materials & interfaces (2020-03-19)
Tomasz Kubiak, Joanna Banaszak, Arkadiusz Józefczak, Zbigniew Rozynek
ABSTRACT

A variety of approaches have been developed to release contents from capsules, including techniques that use electric or magnetic fields, light, or ultrasound as a stimulus. However, in the majority of the known approaches, capsules are disintegrated in violent way and the liberation of the encapsulated material is often in a random direction. Thus, the controllable and direction-specific release from microcapsules in a simple and effective way is still a great challenge. This greatly limits the use of microcapsules in applications where targeted and directional release is desirable. Here, we present a convenient ultrasonic method for controllable and unidirectional release of an encapsulated substance. The release is achieved by using MHz-frequency ultrasound that enables the inner liquid stretching, which imposes mechanical stress on the capsule's shell. This leads to the puncturing of the shell and enables smooth liberation of the liquid payload in one direction. We demonstrate that 1-4.3 MHz acoustic waves with the intensity of a few W/cm2 are capable of puncturing of particle capsules with diameters ranging from around 300 μm to 5 mm and the release of the encapsulated liquid in a controlled manner. Various aspects of our route, including the role of the capsule size, ultrasound wavelength, and intensity in the performance of the method, are studied in detail. We also show that the additional control of the release can be achieved by using capsules having patchy shells. The presented method can be used to facilitate chemical reactions in micro- and nanolitre droplets and various small-scale laboratory operations carried in bulk liquids in microenvironment. Our results may also serve as an entry point for testing other uses of the method and formulation of theoretical modeling of the presented ultrasound mechanism.

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Sigma-Aldrich
Castor oil, tested according to Ph. Eur.