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Fabrication of PAA–PETPTA Janus Microspheres with Respiratory Function for Controlled Release of Guests with Different Sizes

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posted on 25.05.2018, 00:00 by Liwei Wang, Liang Yu, Changfeng Zeng, Chongqing Wang, Lixiong Zhang
Poly­(acrylic acid)–poly­(ethoxylated trimethylolpropane triacrylate) (PAA–PETPTA) Janus microspheres with “respiratory” function for controlled release were prepared by polymerization of acrylic acid–ethoxylated trimethylolpropane triacrylate (AA–ETPTA) Janus microdroplets in a continuous oil phase in a simple capillary-based microfluidic device with the assistance of UV radiation. The flow rate ratios of AA and ETPTA phases and surfactant content in the continuous oil phase have a significant effect on the structure of the Janus microspheres. PAA part in the Janus microspheres has respiratory function for loading and release due to the different stimuli responses to different pHs. The hollow structure of PETPTA part with different sizes of opening serves as the host materials for PAA and could control release rate further due to the different opening sizes. The obtained PAA–PETPTA Janus microspheres showed high rhodamine B (RhB) loading of 860 mg g–1 and different controlled-release behavior in water with different pHs. The release rate increases with the increase of pH and the contact area of PAA part with water. The maximum controlled-release time for RhB was about 3 h in water with pH of 5. In addition, the Janus microspheres also showed controlled-release behavior for larger size guests, e.g., 150 nm polystyrene beads, which indicated a wide range of application. The loading and release behaviors for guests, for instance, for RhB, have almost no change even after six times of reuse, which indicated a high stability.