Abstract—Poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS) microspheres are increasingly gaining importance for a wide range of applications due to their flexibility and inertness. In this paper, we have fabricated PDMS microspheres using facile emulsion formation in water by stirring with and without additional ultrasonic excitation. It was found that the particle size distribution, which can be attributed to the formation rate of cross-linked PDMS networks in the hydrophobic microspheres, depends on the temperature of the aqueous medium. Swelling of the microspheres in acetone was suggested by permeabilization as evidenced by diffusion and encapsulation of fluorescent dyes within the PDMS. Using scanning electron microscopy, the surface morphology of the spheres was confirmed to have no surface roughness or irregularity. Using fluorescence microscopy, we found that the encapsulated dyes randomly and thus uniformly distributed themselves within the cross-linked PDMS networks and retained the fluorescent properties and characteristic emission color, implying their potential for drug carrier.
Keywords—poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS), microspheres, swelling, encapsulation, fluorescent dyes.
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