Reversible aggregation of responsive polymer-stabilized colloids and the pH-dependent formation of porous scaffolds
Woodward RT., Hight C., Yildiz U., Schaeffer N., Valliant EM., Jones JR., Stevens MM., Weaver JVM.
Branched copolymer stabilized emulsion droplets can be used as templates for the production of surface-functionalized colloidal particles. The pre-defined pH-responsive surface functionality can control the solution behavior of these colloids - from highly disperse to aggregated. The colloids can co-encapsulate various hydrophobic molecules and can be assembled into large site-isolated 3D aggregates with internal macroporosities dictated by the method of dehydration employed. The assembled colloids can be rehydrated and remain stable in acidic water but disassemble back into disperse colloids on raising the solution pH. Thus these functional colloids have potential application as building blocks for the preparation of modular scaffold materials © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.