Bioinspired Layer-by-Layer Microcapsules Based on Cellulose Nanofibers with Switchable Permeability

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Thomas Paulraj
  • Anastasia V Riazanova
  • Kun Yao
  • Richard L Andersson
  • Müllertz, Anette
  • Anna J Svagan

Green, all-polysaccharide based microcapsules with mechanically robust capsule walls and fast, stimuli-triggered, and switchable permeability behavior show great promise in applications based on selective and timed permeability. Taking a cue from nature, the build-up and composition of plant primary cell walls inspired the capsule wall assembly, because the primary cell walls in plants exhibit high mechanical properties despite being in a highly hydrated state, primarily owing to cellulose microfibrils. The microcapsules (16 ± 4 μm in diameter) were fabricated using the layer-by-layer technique on sacrificial CaCO3 templates, using plant polysaccharides (pectin, cellulose nanofibers, and xyloglucan) only. In water, the capsule wall was permeable to labeled dextrans with a hydrodynamic diameter of ∼6.6 nm. Upon exposure to NaCl, the porosity of the capsule wall quickly changed allowing larger molecules (∼12 nm) to permeate. However, the porosity could be restored to its original state by removal of NaCl, by which permeants became trapped inside the capsule's core. The high integrity of cell wall was due to the CNF and the ON/OFF alteration of the permeability properties, and subsequent loading/unloading of molecules, could be repeated several times with the same capsule demonstrating a robust microcontainer with controllable permeability properties.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1401-1410
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2017

ID: 185406931