Characterizing internal cavity modulation of corn starch microcapsules Academic Article uri icon

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  • Swelling of normal corn starch granules through heating in water leads to enlargement of the starch particles and a corresponding increase in internal cavity size. Through control of the swelling extent, it is possible to tune the size of the internal cavity for the starch microcapsules (SMCs). The swelling extent can be controlled through regulation of the swelling time and the swelling temperature. Since the swelling extent is correlated with particle size and solubility, these aspects may also be controlled. Imaging the SMCs at increasing levels of swelling extent using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) allowed for the internal cavity swelling process to be clearly observed. Brightfield and polarizing light microscopy validated the SEM observations. Confocal laser scanning microscopy provided further validation and indicated that it is possible to load the SMCs with large molecules through diffusion. The highly tunable SMCs are novel microparticles which could have applications in various industries.


  • Wulff, David
  • Chan, Ariel
  • Liu, Qiang
  • Gu, Frank X
  • Aucoin, Marc G

publication date

  • October 2020