Use of microcapsules as controlled release devices for coatings

Markus Andersson Trojer*, Lars Nordstierna, Jonatan Bergek, Hans Blanck, Krister Holmberg, Magnus Nydén

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

47 Citations (Scopus)


Biofouling of surfaces is a considerable problem in many industrial sectors and for the public community in general. The problem is usually approached by the use of functional coatings and most of such antifouling coatings rely on the effect of biocides. However, a substantial drawback is the poor control over the release of the biocide as well as its degradation in the paint. Encapsulation of the biocides in microcapsules is a promising approach that may overcome some of the problems associated with the more traditional ways of incorporating the antifouling agent into the formulation. In this review, we summarize more than a decade of microcapsule research from our lab as well as from other groups working on this topic. Focus will be on two coacervation-based encapsulation techniques; the internal phase separation method and the double emulsion method, which together enable the encapsulation of a broad spectrum of biocides with different physicochemical properties. The release of the biocide from core-shell particles and from encapsulated biocides in coatings is treated in detail. The release behaviour is interpreted in terms of the physicochemical properties of the core-shell particle and the coating matrix. In addition, special attention is given to the experimental release methodology and the implementation of proper diffusion models to describe the release. At the end of the review examples of antifouling properties of some coatings against common biofoulers are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-43
Number of pages26
JournalAdvances in Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Antifouling
  • Marine paint
  • Exterior wall paint
  • Sustained release
  • Dyes
  • Diffusion

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