MICROENCAPSULATION | PROTECTION OF ACTIVE SUBSTANCES AND CONTROLLED RELEASE

Microencapsulation  is defined as a technology of packaging solids, liquids or gases, obtaining as a result thereof tiny particles or droplets surrounded by a coating, called microcapsules. In a relatively simple form, a microcapsule is a small sphere or fiber of an active substance container (diameters are between a few micrometers and a few millimeters) with an uniform, micro-porous and semi-permeable wall around it. The material inside the microcapsule is referred to as the core, internal phase, or fill, whereas the wall is sometimes called a shell, coating, or membrane. These microcapsules are inserted into final products to get the added-value that makes the difference respect to the competence. Thanks to the microencapsulation, several developments are getting to enhance products that are now already fully developed but currently require improves that the microencapsulation can provide.

Core-Shell Nanostructures  obtained by Coaxial Electrospinning & Electospray

Core-Shell Nanostructures obtained by Coaxial Electrospinning & Electospray Tech.

The main reasons and advantages of microencapsulation are:

  • – It allows to turn the appearance (not the state) of the matter from liquids and sticky materials to solids for handling and safety properties .
  • – It allows to get controlled release systems (to control the rate at which it leaves the microcapsule under specific conditions) for the delivery of drugs, active principles, flavors, odor, pesticides (to minimize leaching or volatilization risks),…
  • – It allows to mask taste, smell and colour of an ingredient from any mix.
  • – It allows to isolate, inmobilize, stabilize and protect  the core from its surroundings: volatile flavours and fragrances (retarding evaporation), catalysts (reactive core from chemical attack), starter cultures, enzymes and vitamins (from the deteriorating effects of oxygen),…  to improve shelf life, the performance in the industrial application or to protect the product from pH, UV light exposure or oxygen.

MICROENCAPSULATION | CORE AND SHELL MATERIALS

Many different materials from diverse applications have been used to desing micro and nanocapsules for diverse applications:

  • – Shell Materials: waxes, starches, celluloses, biopolymers, photopolymers, thermoset resins, synthetic polymers, alginates, arabic gum, carbohydrates, …
  • – Core Materials: vitamins, minerals, lipids, dyes, prebiotics, probiotics, flavors, odors, nutraceuticals, oils, antioxidants, enzymes, bacterias, perfumes, drugs, fertilizers, …

Some of the most known traditional techniques to manufacture microcapsules are:

  • – Physico-chemical methods: Ionotropic gelation, Coacervation-Phase separation, Chilling, Freeze drying.
  • – Chemical methods: Interfacial polycondensation, Interfacial Cross-Linking, In-situ Polymerization, Matrix Polymerization.
  • – Physical methods: Pan coating, Air-suspension coating, Centrifugal extrusion, Vibrational Nozzle,  Coaxial Electrospinning, Electrospraying Tech., Coaxial CoFlowing.

MICROENCAPSULATION | APPLICATIONS

As a cross-cutting technology, Microencapsulation can find its niche at every sectors of the industry (textile industry, metallurgical, chemical, food, cosmetics, agro, pharmaceuticals or medicine) and the number of applications go on increasing day after day (i.e. carbonless copy paper, e-ink, essential oils and flavours, pesticides and herbicides, phase chage materials, powder perfume, self healing materials, textiles, temperature/humidity release, Drug delivery, nanosensors (visual or sounding indicators), nanowires,…). The existence of a large number of techniques and the number of parameters come into play make it difficult to choose the adequate method of microencapsulation  for each case.

Yflow® R&D Microencapsulation Services offers the possibility to microencapsulate any kind of chemicals in polymeric materials by using Yflow® Coaxial Electrospinning & Electrospraying Tech. either alone or in combination with any of the prior technique cited. It is well known that Yflow® Coaxial Electrospinning & Electrospraying and Coaxial CoFlowing are promising techniques to fabricate novel micro and nanostructured materials applied to a wide variety of applications and sectors, and one of the main application is the microencapsulation.

Yflow® offers its future partners a complete support (Predesign, R+D, Design, Lab Scale Manufacturing, Scaling-Up and Industrialization) in the development of their final products thanks to the wealth gained experience for more than 15 years working on microencapsulation and the know-how acquired in the development of these investigations and projects.

MICROENCAPSULATION | PROTECTION & RELEASE OF ACTIVE SUBSTANCES BY YFLOW® COAXIAL ELECTROSPINNING AND ELECTROSPRAYING TECH.

Yflow® Coaxial Electrospinning & Electrospraying Tech. is the best choice to deal with spherical or fibered micro-nanoparticles (simple/hollow/core-shell) having high loading efficiency whose shows a range of release triggers and is compatible with a wide range of active ingredients.

This method can produce microcapsules in combination of any other traditional technique. The election of the Microencapsulation Techniques will depend strongly of:

  • – Average size required for microparticles.
  • – Chemical and physical properties of core and shell agents.
  • – Applications for material microencapsulated.
  • – Release trigger specified by requirements.
  • – Costs.

The expertise and the know-how gathered by Yflow® in last 15 years allow the engineers team to design the production process (involving different methods of microencapsulation) to find the best solution that meets the requirements.

After analyzing the whole problematic (technical requirements, materials, release conditions, …) a microencapsulation production process will be designed, developed and scale-up to meet the company´s requirements.

MICROENCAPSULATION | EXPERIENCE OF YFLOW® SD IN APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT

Yflow® has developed for last years many works by the hand of important worldwide companies from many different industries using Yflow® Coaxial Electrospinning & Electrospraying Tech.

As a cross-cutting technology, Microencapsulation by Yflow® Coaxial Electrospinning & Electrospraying Tech. can find its niche at every sectors of the industry among which we can highlight:

– Aeronautics: Nanofiber-based Novel Nanomaterials

Design and development of novel materials by the inclusion of carbonaceous materials (MWCNT, VGCNF, CB, Graphene,…) in aeronautics-grade matrixes (Thermoplastics such as PE, PEEK, PEI, PPS,… and Thermoset resins such us Epoxy, BMI or Phenolics) through the application of microcoatings and intermediate microlayers in sandwich panels and reinforcement of matrixes.

– Textile/Fabrics: Simple or Core-shell Nanofiber-based Sheets and Yarns:

Design, Development and Industrial Production of Breathable & Waterproof PVDF, PU & CELLULOSE nanofiber membranes and sheets for energy saving in building and military clothes.

– Filtering/Sieving: Simple or Core-shell Nanofiber-based Filters:

Design, Development and Industrial Production of Breathable & Waterproof PVDF, Resoles, PAN & PU nanofiber membranes and sheets for filtration and sieving (Ammonia, Diesel,…).

– Food/Agroindustry: Simple or Core-Shell Microcapsules:

Microencapsulation of antioxidants and antimicrobials in biopolymers for increasing shelf life of fresh meat and fish (Smart Packaging).

Microencapsulation of Vitamins in biopolymers (PVA, MD, Cellulose, PLA, Zein, PLGA) in nanofiber and nanoparticle form.

Microencapsulation of DHA in biopolymers (PVA, MD, Cellulose, PLA, Zein, PLGA) in nanofiber and nanoparticle form.

Microencapsulation of Probiotics/Prebiotics in biopolymers (PVA, MD, Cellulose, PLA, Zein, PLGA) in nanofiber and nanoparticle form.

Microencapsulation of Essential Flavours in biopolymers (PVP) in nanoparticle form.

– Chemicals (Adhesives, Chemicals, Catalysis):

Microencapsulation of diverse catalysts in many polymeric matrixes (PCL, MD, CA, PMMA, PVA, PLA, PU, PVDF, …) for different release trigger for adhesive applications.

Microencapsulation of enzymes in polimeric materials for detergent applications.

– Pharmaceuticals/Medicine/Veterinary:

Microencapsulation of Enterobacteriaceae Antigen for protection and controlled release via nanofiber.

Microencapsulation of Antiallergy Agents for protection and controlled release.

– Energy:

Microencapsulation of Catalysts for Water Gas Shift reactions.

Microencapsulation of Catalysts for Storage and release of H2.

Microencapsulation of Catalysts for Fuel Cells.

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