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Controllable Multicompartmental Capsules with Distinct Cores and Shells for Synergistic Release

He, Fan, Wang, Wei, He, Xiao-Heng, Yang, Xiu-Lan, Li, Ming, Xie, Rui, Ju, Xiao-Jie, Liu, Zhuang, Chu, Liang-Yin
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2016 v.8 no.13 pp. 8743-8754
calcium alginate, cell culture, drugs, encapsulation
A facile and flexible approach is developed for controllable fabrication of novel multiple-compartmental calcium alginate capsules from all-aqueous droplet templates with combined coextrusion minifluidic devices for isolated coencapsulation and synergistic release of diverse incompatible components. The multicompartmental capsules exhibit distinct compartments, each of which is covered by a distinct part of a heterogeneous shell. The volume and number of multiple compartments can be well-controlled by adjusting flow rates and device numbers for isolated and optimized encapsulation of different components, while the composition of different part of the heterogeneous shell can be individually tailored by changing the composition of droplet template for flexibly tuning the release behavior of each component. Two combined devices are first used to fabricate dual-compartmental capsules and then scaled up to fabricate more complex triple-compartmental capsules for coencapsulation. The synergistic release properties are demonstrated by using dual-compartmental capsules, which contain one-half shell with a constant release rate and the other half shell with a temperature-dependent release rate. Such a heterogeneous shell provides more flexibilities for synergistic release with controllable release sequence and release rates to achieve advanced and optimized synergistic efficacy. The multicompartmental capsules show high potential for applications such as drug codelivery, confined reactions, enzyme immobilizations, and cell cultures.