Microfluidic fabrication of polymeric core-shell microspheres for controlled release applications

Tiantian Kong, Jun Wu, Kelvin Wai Kwok Yeung, Michael Kai Tsun To, Ho Cheung Shum, Liqiu Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


We report a facile and robust microfluidic method to fabricate polymeric core-shell microspheres as delivery vehicles for biomedical applications. The characteristics of core-shell microspheres can be precisely and easily tuned by manipulating the microfluidic double emulsion templates. The addition of a shell can significantly improve the versatility as well as functionality of these microspheres as delivery vehicles. We demonstrate that the nature of the shell material plays an important role in the properties of the core-shell delivery vehicles. The release kinetics is significantly influenced by the material of the shell and other characteristics such as the thickness. For example, by adding a poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) shell to an alginate core, the encapsulation efficiency is enhanced and undesired leakage of hydrophilic actives is prevented. By contrast, adding an alginate shell to PLGA core can lead to a reduction of the initial release rate, thus extending the release period of hydrophobic actives. Microfluidic fabrication enables the generation of precisely controlled core-shell microspheres with a narrow size distribution, which enables the investigation of the relationship between the release kinetics of these microspheres and their characteristics. The approach of using core-shell particles as delivery vehicles creates new opportunities to customize the release kinetics of active ingredients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044128
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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