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Polymers 2017, 9(1), 8;

Light-Responsive Polymer Micro- and Nano-Capsules

Department of Chemical, Materials and Production Engineering (DICMAPI), University of Naples “Federico II”, P. le Tecchio, 80, 80125 Napoli, Italy
Institute for Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials (IPCB-CNR), Via Campi Flegrei, 34, 80078 Pozzuoli (NA), Italy
Department of Chemical Engineering (DEQ), Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Av. Països Catalans, 26, 43007 Tarragona, Spain
Chemistry Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTQC), C/Marcel·lí Domingo, 43007 Tarragona, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Shiyong Liu
Received: 15 November 2016 / Revised: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 20 December 2016 / Published: 29 December 2016
PDF [4124 KB, uploaded 29 December 2016]


A significant amount of academic and industrial research efforts are devoted to the encapsulation of active substances within micro- or nanocarriers. The ultimate goal of core–shell systems is the protection of the encapsulated substance from the environment, and its controlled and targeted release. This can be accomplished by employing “stimuli-responsive” materials as constituents of the capsule shell. Among a wide range of factors that induce the release of the core material, we focus herein on the light stimulus. In polymers, this feature can be achieved introducing a photo-sensitive segment, whose activation leads to either rupture or modification of the diffusive properties of the capsule shell, allowing the delivery of the encapsulated material. Micro- and nano-encapsulation techniques are constantly spreading towards wider application fields, and many different active molecules have been encapsulated, such as additives for food-packaging, pesticides, dyes, pharmaceutics, fragrances and flavors or cosmetics. Herein, a review on the latest and most challenging polymer-based micro- and nano-sized hollow carriers exhibiting a light-responsive release behavior is presented. A special focus is put on systems activated by wavelengths less harmful for living organisms (mainly in the ultraviolet, visible and infrared range), as well as on different preparation techniques, namely liposomes, self-assembly, layer-by-layer, and interfacial polymerization. View Full-Text
Keywords: smart materials; photo-responsive capsules; interfacial polymerization; layer-by-layer; self-assembly; liposomes smart materials; photo-responsive capsules; interfacial polymerization; layer-by-layer; self-assembly; liposomes

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Marturano, V.; Cerruti, P.; Giamberini, M.; Tylkowski, B.; Ambrogi, V. Light-Responsive Polymer Micro- and Nano-Capsules. Polymers 2017, 9, 8.

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