Harnessing interfacial phenomena to program the release properties of hollow microcapsules

Myung Han Lee, Kolin C. Hribar, Teresa Brugarolas, Neha P. Kamat, Jason A. Burdick, Daeyeon Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


The generation of near-infrared (NIR)-sensitive microcapsules is presented and it is demonstrated that the release properties of these microcapsules can be tailored by controlling their morphology. A biocompatible polymer, poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic)acid (PLGA) is used to form hollow microcapsules from monodisperse water-in-oil-in-water (W/O/W) double emulsions. Both the composition of PLGA and the oil phase of W/O/W double emulsions significantly affect the morphology of the subsequently formed microcapsules. PLGA microcapsules with vastly different morphologies, from spherical to "snowman-like" capsules, are obtained due to changes in the solvent quality of the oil phase during solvent removal. The adhesiveness of the PLGA-laden interface plays a critical role in the formation of snowman-like microcapsules. NIR-sensitive PLGA microcapsules are designed to have responsive properties by incorporating Au nanorods into the microcapsule shell, which enables the triggered release of encapsulated materials. The effect of capsule morphology on the NIR responsiveness and release properties of PLGA microcapsules is demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 11 2012


  • capsules
  • drug delivery
  • emulsions
  • gold nanorods
  • microfluidics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biomaterials


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