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  • Can sonication enhance release from liquid-core capsules with a hydrogel membrane?

Can sonication enhance release from liquid-core capsules with a hydrogel membrane?

Journal of colloid and interface science (2011-12-27)
Liguo Zhang, Anne-Virginie Salsac
ABSTRACT

The objective is to investigate the influence of sonication on the mechanical and release properties of hydrogel capsules. A new fabrication process is developed to fabricate millimetric capsules made of a highly-viscous liquid core protected by a thin hyperelastic alginate membrane. At high intensities and/or long exposure times, sonication can lead to the capsule rupture, because it induces fatigue in the membrane. Below the breakup threshold, no remnant effect of sonication is, however, measured on the capsule mechanical properties. The release is studied by sonicating capsules filled with blue dextran suspended in an aqueous solution. The mass release that results from sonication is found to be proportional to the sonication duration time and pressure wave amplitude. A possible physical interpretation is that the acoustic streaming flow induced by the ultrasonic wave enhances convection in the vicinity of the capsule membrane and thus mass release. We have finally quantified the passive release subsequent to low-intensity sonications: it is on average identical to the one measured on non-sonicated capsules. Overall the membrane therefore recovers its physical and mechanical properties after sonication. If sonication leads to an increase in porosity of the capsule membrane, the increase is temporary and reverses back at the end of the ultrasonic stimulation.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Blue Dextran, Void volume marker for gel filtration columns.
Sigma-Aldrich
Blue Dextran, BioReagent