Printed asymmetric microcapsules: Facile loading and multiple stimuli-responsiveness

Valeriya Kudryavtseva, Anton Bukatin, Ekaterina Vyacheslavova, David Gould, Gleb B. Sukhorukov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Engineering of colloidal particles and capsules despite substantial progress is still facing a number of unsolved issues including low loading capacity, non-uniform size and shape of carriers, tailoring different functionalities and versatility to encapsulated cargo. In this work, we propose a method for defined-shaped functionally asymmetric polymer capsule fabrication based on a soft lithography approach. The developed capsules consist of two classes of polymers – the main part “cup” is made out of polyelectrolyte multilayers (PAH-PSS) and “lid” is made of biodegradable polyether (PLGA). Asymmetric capsules combine advantages from both traditional layer-by-layer capsules and recently developed printed “pelmeni” capsules. This combination provides stimuli-responsiveness due to polyelectrolyte multilayer properties differing from PLGA. The inner volume of capsules can be loaded with a variety of active compounds and the capsule's geometry is defined due to the soft-lithography method. Capsules have a core-shell structure and monodisperse size distribution. Three methods to trigger cargo release have been demonstrated, namely temperature treatment, ultrasonication and pH shift. Steroidal drug dexamethasone was used to illustrate the applicability of the systems for triggered drug release. The application of proposed asymmetric capsules includes but is not limited to pharmacology, diagnostics, sensors, micro- and nanoreactors and chemical actuators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number212762
JournalBiomaterials Advances
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Controlled release
  • Layer-by-layer
  • Polylactic acid
  • Polymer capsules
  • Soft lithography


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