The encapsulation of an amphiphile into polystyrene microspheres of narrow size distribution

Michal Pellach, Shlomo Margel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Encapsulation of compounds into nano- or microsized organic particles of narrow size distribution is of increasing importance in fields of advanced imaging and diagnostic techniques and drug delivery systems. The main technology currently used for encapsulation of molecules within uniform template particles while retaining their size distribution is based on particle swelling methodology, involving penetration of emulsion droplets into the particles. The swelling method, however, is efficient for encapsulation only of hydrophobic compounds within hydrophobic template particles. In order to be encapsulated, the molecules must favor the hydrophobic phase of an organic/aqueous biphasic system, which is not easily achieved for molecules of amphiphilic character.The following work overcomes this difficulty by presenting a new method for encapsulation of amphiphilic molecules within uniform hydrophobic particles. We use hydrogen bonding of acid and base, combined with a pseudo salting out effect, for the entrapment of the amphiphile in the organic phase of a biphasic system. Following the entrapment in the organic phase, we demonstrated, using fluorescein and (antibiotic) tetracycline as model molecules, that the swelling method usually used only for hydrophobes can be expanded and applied to amphiphilic molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Article number78
JournalChemistry Central Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 6 Dec 2011


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