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Chementator: Sonopolymerization as a means to manufacture composite nanoparticles

By Edited by Gerald Ondrey |

Many methods have been developed for the encapsulation of "active" materials within a carrier nanoparticle, such as a polymer. These composite structures can be used in many biomedical, cosmetics, and food processing applications for the controlled release of pharmaceuticals, neutraceuticals, and flavors. However, most of the proposed encapsulation methods developed so far involve multiple steps or complex preparation. Now a team from the School of Chemistry, University of Melbourne (Australia; www.unimelb.edu.au) and the Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge, Mass.; www.mit.edu), has developed a "one-pot" sonochemical process using ultrasound at 20 kHz for the nanoencapsulation of magnetite nanoparticles within host latex particles. The team says sonochemical free-radical-polymerization reactions can be achieved without chemical initiators, and that fast polymerization rates are obtained with a relatively high percentage of monomer-to-polymer conversion. The particles exhibit excellent colloidal stability and strong magnetic properties, and are of the desired size to be technologically relevant, according to the researchers. The composite beads prepared by the team…
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