Semi-permeable vesicles composed of natural clay

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Introduction

The authors report a way to produce semi-permeable vesicles from montmorillonite, a natural plate-like clay mineral that occurs widely in the environment. Simple shearing forces can assemble an aqueous suspension of montmorillonite clay plates onto air bubbles producing clay-armoured plates. Replacing the water with organic liquids will displace the air pocket inside the clay-armour with the liquid forming vesicles. Clay vesicles are microporous, exhibit size-selective permeability. This is the first time that any group has demonstrated self-assembly of inorganic minerals into structured compartments.

Results

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My Thoughts

References

1. A.B. Subramaniam, J. Wan, A. Gopinath and H.A. Stone, "Semi-permeable vesicles composed of natural clay", Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 2600-2612

2. M.M. Hanczyc, S.M. Fujikawa and J.W. Szostak, "Experimental Models of Primitive Cellular Compartments: Encapsulation, Growth, and Division", Science, 2003, 302 5645, 618-622