Monodisperse liquid-filled biodegradable microcapsules

Cory Berkland, Emily Pollauf, Neel Varde, Daniel W. Pack, Kyekyoon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Purpose. Encapsulation of liquids into biodegradable polymer microcapsules has been a challenging task due to production limitations stemming from solution viscosity, phase stabilization, molecular localization, and scalable production. We report an extension of Precision Particle Fabrication (PPF) technology for the production of monodisperse liquid-filled microcapsules containing an oil or aqueous core and contrast these results to double-walled microspheres. Materials and Methods. PPF technology utilizes a coaxial nozzle to produce a liquid core jet surrounded by a polymer annular jet, which is further encompassed by a non-solvent carrier stream, typically 0.5% wt/vol polyvinyl alcohol in water. Jet diameters are controlled by the volumetric flow rate of each phase. The compound jet is then disrupted into uniform core/shell droplets via a controllable acoustic wave and shell material is hardened by solvent extraction. Results. Monodisperse polymeric microcapsules demonstrated a narrow size distribution and the formation of a continuous shell leading to efficient encapsulation of various liquid cores. The intermingling of core and shell phases and the localization of different molecular probes (fluorescent dyes and fluorescently labeled proteins) to the core or shell phase provided additional evidence of phase separation and molecular partitioning, respectively. We also demonstrate the pulsatile release of bovine serum albumin encapsulated in an aqueous core. Conclusions. PPF technology provided exceptional control of the overall size and shell thickness of microcapsules filled with various types of oil or water. This technique may enable advanced delivery profiles of pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1007-1013
Number of pages7
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Scanning electron micrographs were attained at the Center for Microanalysis of Materials, University of Illinois, which is partially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under grant DEFG02-91-ER45439. Special thanks to Dr. Balaji Narasimhan for providing polyanhydrides and to Guilford Pharmaceuticals for the gift of Polilactofate\.


  • Controlled release
  • Drug delivery
  • Microcapsule
  • Monodisperse
  • Poly(lactide-co-glycolide)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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