Efficient Loading of Hollow Polymeric Particles
Introduction The encapsulation of active materials in colloidal particles has enabled a variety of new, high value products to be developed; such as controlled release drugs, cosmetics, pigments, and chemical reagents. Introducing functional material into hollow polymeric particles is typically limited by the diffusion of the functional material across the closed particle shell. The efficiency of loading would be enhanced if the functional material could be added directly into the hollow sphere. Technology description The inventors have developed a method to produce hollow polymeric spheres with an opening that can subsequently be sealed in a single step. Once the spheres have been loaded with functional material and sealed, the contents can be released in a controlled fashion. Business opportunity A number of high value functional materials including drugs, cosmetic ingredients, dyes, fluorescent proteins, polymer precursors, and magnetic particles can be efficiently encapsulated. New pharmaceutical and cosmetic formulations, “selfhealing”
polymers, and research tools may be enabled with this technology. The ability to create new product applications in a number of attractive markets makes this a compelling technology. One potential product application, controlled release drug products, is currently a multi-billion dollar market opportunity. Stage of development Hollow polymeric spherical particles, sub-micron in diameter, have been created. The size of the opening on their outer surface can be modified and held consistent. Functional materials have been encapsulated and the openings have been fully closed after loading is complete. Intellectual property position The UW is assessing patent protection for this technology.
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