Soft capsules, hard capsules, and hybrid capsules

Katsuhiko Ariga, Qingmin Ji, Gary J. Richards, Jonathan P. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Capsule structures are often regarded as mimics of living cells and have attracted attention within bio-related fields. In addition, their use in other practical applications has become important. The demands of practical applications have stimulated recent developments in capsule science and technologies. In this review, we focus on recent developments on the preparation and functionalization of capsule objects. In particular, we will summarize research on micro and nano-sized capsules prepared using supramolecular concepts and related strategies. The examples are classified into three categories. Molecular capsules such as calixarene, cavitands, and dendrimers are introduced together with dynamic molecular capsules at the air-water interface in the first part. In the second category, soft polymer capsules prepared by interfacial condensation, template synthesis, and emulsion synthesis are described and the unique contribution of layer-by-layer assemblies is emphasized. In the final part, various hard capsules composed of gold, carbon, silica, and other inorganic substances are described together with hybrid capsules made from inorganic components and organic moieties. In this section, construction of hierarchic structures of mesoporous capsules is highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-412
Number of pages26
JournalSoft Materials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Assembly
  • Capsule
  • Inorganic
  • Nanostructure
  • Polymer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Soft capsules, hard capsules, and hybrid capsules'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this