Patchy colloidosomes – an emerging class of structures*
1 Faculty of Physics, Institute of Acoustics, Adam Mickiewicz University, Umultowska 85, 61-614 Poznań, Poland
2 Department of Physics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Hoegskoleringen 5, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
a Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to Z.R. (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Received: 15 October 2015
Revised: 2 May 2016
Published online: 15 July 2016
A colloidosome, i.e., a selectively permeable capsule composed of colloidal particles forming a stable homogenous shell, is a tiny container that can be used for storage, transportation, and release of cargo species. There are many routes to preparing colloidosomes; dozens of examples of future applications of such colloidal capsules have been demonstrated. Their functionality can be further extended if the capsules are designed to have heterogeneous shells, i.e., one or more regions (patches) of a shell are composed of material with specific properties that differ from the rest of the shell. Such patchy colloidosomes, supplemented by functionalities similar to that offered by well-studied patchy particles, will surely possess advantageous properties when compared with their homogenous counterparts. For example, owing to specific interactions between patches, they either can self-assemble into complex structures; specifically adhere to a surface; release their cargo species in specific direction; or guided–align,–orient or –propel. Fabrication of patchy colloidal microcapsules has long been theorized by scientists able to design different models, but actual large-scale production remains a challenge. Until now, only a few methods for fabricating patchy colloidosomes have been demonstrated, and these include production by means of microfluidics and mechanical pipetting. The field of science related to fabrication and application of patchy colloidosomes is clearly unexplored, and we envision it blooming in the coming years.
Supplementary material in the form of movie file available from the journal web page at http://dx.doi.org/10.1140/epjst/e2015-50267-7
© The Author(s) 2016
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