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Title: Emulsion-based supracolloidal materials stabilized by specifically designed branched copolymers
Author: Bell, Robert Valentine
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 6948
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2015
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The possible applications of branched copolymers are far reaching because of their various combinations of functionality and architectural diversity. More importantly, the domains and chain-end functionalities of the branched copolymers can be readily varied, via the simple and scalable Strathclyde route, to optimize/tailor the properties of the polymers for a specific application by careful choice of monofunctional monomers, branching monomers, and chain transfer agents. In the present thesis, branched copolymers were utilized as emulsifying agents for the production of oil-in-water emulsion droplets. These emulsion droplets were used as a platform to create novel emulsion-based supracolloidal materials. The chemical composition and architectural structure of the branched copolymers were specifically chosen to create stable emulsions and provide the correct functionalities required for the application. Calcium phosphate (CaP) microcapsules were fabricated by utilizing oil-in-water emulsion droplets, stabilized with branched copolymer, as templates. The branched copolymer was designed to provide a suitable architecture and functionality to produce stable emulsion droplets, and permit the mineralization of CaP at the surface of the oil droplet. These CaP capsules were made fluorescent by post-functionalization of the CaP shell with a fluorescent conjugate. Oil-in-water emulsion droplets stabilized with Laponite clay disc functionalized with pH-responsive branched copolymers were microfluidically spun into supracolloidal fibers. These supracolloidal fibers can be used as a tool to delivery volatile compounds in a time-controlled manner. The dried fibers created were low-weight porous materials. It was also discovered that these supracolloidal fibers can be utilized as a storage material for emulsion droplets, where emulsion droplets are 'locked' in the fiber structure under acidic condition, and are released from the fiber upon basification of the system. The release of emulsion droplets from the fiber can be time-controlled by programming the transient acidic pH states of the system by combining a fast acidic promoter with a feedback-driven biocatalytically controlled slow generation of base in a close system.
Supervisor: Stevens, Molly ; Stingelin, Natalie Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available