ANFF-Q clients tackling plastic waste and revolutionising the pharmaceutical industry

Results of the formation process. (a) Core–shell droplets in the collection chamber. (b) Microcapsules after UV curing and left to dry overnight at 90 °C. (c) Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of fully enclosed microcapsules. (d) SEM image of a broken microcapsule with shell revealing the hollow core. Scale bars depict 100 μm.

ANFF-Q’s Deputy Director Professor Nam-Trung Nguyen from the Queensland Micro-and Nanontechnology Centre is lead researcher developing a microcapsule technology that could fast-track disease diagnosis and reduce plastic waste. Published in AIP Advances, the technology encapsulates tiny droplets with a diameter smaller than a hair strand.

Professor Nguyen said an important application of the tiny capsules was in laboratory tests such as disease diagnostics.

“This technology provides unparalleled control of small liquid volumes, which are invaluable in applications such as cell culture, immunoassays, and polymerase chain reactions (PCR), which is the “gold standard” for the detection of the coronavirus in the current COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

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