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Monitoring reactive microencapsulation dynamics using microfluidics

Abstract : We use microfluidic polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) devices to measure the kinetics of reactive encapsulations occurring at the interface of emulsion droplets. The formation of the polymeric shell is inferred from the droplet deformability measured in a series of expansion–constriction chambers along the microfluidic chip. With this tool we quantify the kinetic processes governing the encapsulation at the very early stage of shell formation with a time resolution of the order of the millisecond for overall reactions occurring in less than 0.5 s. We perform a comparison of monomer reactivities used for the encapsulation. We study the formation of polyurea microcapsules (PUMCs); the shell formation proceeds at the water–oil interface by an immediate reaction of amines dissolved in the aqueous phase and isocyanates dissolved in the oil phase. We observe that both monomers contribute differently to the encapsulation kinetics...
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Igmar Polenz, Quentin Brosseau, Jean-Christophe Baret. Monitoring reactive microencapsulation dynamics using microfluidics. Soft Matter, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2015, 11, ⟨10.1039/c5sm00218d⟩. ⟨hal-01122766⟩

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