Screening of stimuli-responsive colloidal particles.

Introduction

Microgels are colloidal particles consisting of cross-linked 3-dimensional polymer networks. These particles have the ability to shrink or swell substantially in response to external stimuli such as temperature, pH, ionic strength and light, allowing triggered release of encapsulated bioactive molecules. They additionally protect these loaded molecules from degradation and/or increase their physical stability. Microgels have therefore emerged as promising tunable drug delivery systems. Moreover, microgels can easily be functionalized, rendering them interesting for materials development with potential applications in different fields, for example tissue engineering and bio sensors.