Matrix Polyelectrolyte Microcapsules: New System for Macromolecule Encapsulation

Dmitry V. Volodkin, Alexander I. Petrov, Michelle Prevot, Gleb B. Sukhorukov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

557 Citations (Scopus)


A new approach to fabricate polyelectrolyte microcapsules is based on exploiting porous inorganic microparticles of calcium carbonate. Porous CaCO3 microparticles (4.5-5.0 microns) were synthesized and characterized by scanning electron microscopy and the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller method of nitrogen adsorption/desorption to get a surface area of 8.8 m 2/g and an average pore size of 35 nm. These particles were used as templates for polyelectrolyte layer-by-layer assembly of two oppositely charged polyelectrolytes, poly(styrene sulfonate) and poly(allylamine hydrochloride). Calcium carbonate core dissolution resulted in formation of polyelectrolyte microcapsules with an internal matrix consisting of a polyelectrolyte complex. Microcapsules with an internal matrix were analyzed by confocal Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, force microscopy, and confocal laser-scanning fluorescence microscopy. The structure was found to be dependent on a number of polyelectrolyte adsorption treatments. Capsules have a very high loading capacity for macromolecules, which can be incorporated into the capsules by capturing them from the surrounding medium into the capsules. In this paper, we investigated the loading by dextran and bovine serum albumin as macromolecules. The amount of entrapped macromolecules was determined by two independent methods and found to be up to 15 pg per microcapsule.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3398-3406
Number of pages9
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


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