Controlled engineering of multifunctional porous structures using tri-needle co-axial electrohydrodynamic flow and sacrificial media

Zhi Cheng Yao, Chunchen Zhang, Zheng Xing, Zeeshan Ahmad, Qiuping Ding, Ming Wei Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


Three-dimensional porous architectures have gained popularity as advanced materials in emerging therapeutics, drug delivery systems and tissue regeneration. This is largely due to their porosity, inter-connectivity, and mechanical properties. However, current approaches to derive such three-dimensional structures are stochastic and therefore density uniformity varies, with innermost components exhibiting dense attributes. This also limits the encapsulation ability and quality of compounds. In this study, multifunctional structures comprising multi-layered particles are developed. Polycaprolactone (PCL)/ethyl cellulose (EC)/ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide (GLP) is the outer layer; silicone oil (SO) is the intermediate layer; PCL and magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles (MNP) are the inner-most (core) component. Particles are initially formed using single step tri-needle co-axial electrostatic jetting, followed by sacrificial template removal to enable multifunctional porous structures. Using this approach, deployment of layered bodies enables the formation of homogeneous particles (150 µm) with tunable pore sizes of 100 s of nanometers to 350 s of microns. The process is versatile, and results indicate multi-scale pore size and hybrid pore connectivity are regulated through manipulation of the sacrificial agent. These structures are therefore promising for several multi-faceted healthcare applications e.g. targeted drug delivery, 3D cell culture, and real-time MRI imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132221
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Early online date4 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81771960), the Key Science Technologies R&D Program of Zhejiang Province (2015C02035), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2017QNA5017).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Bioactive Encapsulation
  • MRI Imaging
  • Multi-scale
  • Porous
  • Sacrificial Agents
  • Triaxial Particle


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