Microencapsulation is a technique in which substances are coated to form extremely small capsules. These particles are used in a number of industries for the delivery of materials such as vitamins, minerals, and pharmaceuticals. The Seeker desires methods for improving the stability of microcapsules in aqueous solutions, and for controlled slow release of small molecules.
This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation, experimental proof-of-concept data, and prototype delivery.
Microencapsulation is one method that protects substances from modification or degradation before being released at the correct location. The coating is rarely impermeable, thus the material within the capsules will diffuse into the surrounding environment. A number of factors influence the rate of diffusion – some of these can be controlled (e.g. thickness of the barrier, composition of the capsule), while others are less readily changed (e.g. pH, temperature). The Seeker is interested in methods to improve the long-term stability of microcapsules in aqueous solutions, with controlled slow release of small molecules. The capsules are for use in food products.
Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on June 30, 2019.