Microfluidic formation of core-shell alginate microparticles for protein encapsulation and controlled release

Lei Yu, Qi Sun, Yue Hui, Arjun Seth, Nikolai Petrovsky, Chun Xia Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


Alginate hydrogel particles are promising delivery systems for protein encapsulation and controlled release because of their excellent biocompatibility, biodegradability, and mild gelation process. In this study, a facile microfluidic approach is developed for making uniform core-shell hydrogel microparticles. To address the challenge of protein retention within the alginate gel matrix, poly(ethyleneimine) (PEI)- and chitosan-coated alginate microparticles were fabricated demonstrating improved protein retention as well as controlled release. Furthermore, a model protein ovalbumin was loaded along with delta inulin microparticulate adjuvant into the water-core of the alginate microparticles. Compared to those microparticles with only antigen loaded, the antigen + adjuvant loaded microparticles showed a delayed and sustained release of antigen. This microfluidic approach provides a convenient method for making well-controlled alginate microgel particles with uniform size and controlled properties, and demonstrates the ability to tune the release profiles of proteins by engineering microparticle structure and properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-503
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019


  • Alginate microparticles
  • Chitosan
  • Controlled release
  • Microfluidics
  • Protein encapsulation


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