The growing demand in food, personal care, agriculture, and pharmaceutical industries for new encapsulation techniques with defined release mechanisms of active ingredients is addressed in this proposal. Encapsulation can be obtained by nano- and micron-sized capsules with well-defined barrier properties where the release of the encapsulants could be controlled by the permeability of the diffusion barrier or by multiple barriers.
The most promising way to construct such devices is self-assembly processes on spherical interfaces (droplets) resulting in capsules with tunable permeability. Due to the small size of the capsules, confinement effects on internal phase separation and structuring are important and can be additionally used to control release properties. To facilitate a major breakthrough in the design and utilization of release systems we will use a newly developed class of capsules, based on colloidosomes and bio-polymersomes.
However, the complexity and the lack of understanding of the underlying fundamental physical principles of both self-assembly at fluid-fluid interfaces, and release processes, have hampered until now the progress in the design of new encapsulating devices. The overall objective therefore is to: 1) develop a generic understanding of self-assembly of nano- and mesostructures at interfaces, and to 2) generate a major breakthrough in design and production of controlled release products for the SME-intensive food, pharmaceutical, and agricultural industries.
The multidisciplinary action of physical sciences, engineering, and industrial users in the consortium is unique in the area of self-assembly and its subsequent application, and is absolutely essential to achieve a major breakthrough in developing high value multifunctional materials. The project contributes to the European Union's objectives to move towards a sustainable knowledge-based industry, and the societal objectives of quality of life, health, safety, and environment.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/physical sciences
- FP6-NMP - Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices: thematic priority 3 under the 'Focusing and integrating community research' of the 'Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area' specific programme 2002-2006.
Call for proposal
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