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A new approach for single cell microencapsulation in an oil-in-water (o/w) Pickering emulsion is presented. The water/paraffin emulsions were stabilized by amine-functionalized silica nanoparticles. The droplet size of the emulsions was highly tunable, and ranged from 1 to 30 μm in diameter. The controllable droplet size along with the high colloidal stability of the Pickering emulsionswas harnessed to obtain single cell microencapsulation. Successful encapsulation of the conidia entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum by the studied Pickering emulsions was confirmed via confocal laser scanning microscopy. The resulting systems were implemented to develop a novel biopesticide formulation for arthropod pest control. The conidia incorporated in the emulsions were applied to Ricinus communis leaves by spray assay. After drying of the emulsion, a silica-based honeycomb-like structure with an ordered hierarchical porosity is formed. This structure preserves the individual cell encapsulation. The successful single cell encapsulation has led to a high distribution of conidia cells on the leaves. The Pickering emulsion-based formulation exhibited significantly higher pest control activity against Spodoptera littoralis larvae compared to the control systems, thus making it a promising, cost-effective, innovative approach for tackling the pest control challenge. © 2018 American Chemical Society.

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Single Cell Encapsulation via Pickering Emulsion for Biopesticide Applications
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Single Cell Encapsulation via Pickering Emulsion for Biopesticide Applications

A new approach for single cell microencapsulation in an oil-in-water (o/w) Pickering emulsion is presented. The water/paraffin emulsions were stabilized by amine-functionalized silica nanoparticles. The droplet size of the emulsions was highly tunable, and ranged from 1 to 30 μm in diameter. The controllable droplet size along with the high colloidal stability of the Pickering emulsionswas harnessed to obtain single cell microencapsulation. Successful encapsulation of the conidia entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum by the studied Pickering emulsions was confirmed via confocal laser scanning microscopy. The resulting systems were implemented to develop a novel biopesticide formulation for arthropod pest control. The conidia incorporated in the emulsions were applied to Ricinus communis leaves by spray assay. After drying of the emulsion, a silica-based honeycomb-like structure with an ordered hierarchical porosity is formed. This structure preserves the individual cell encapsulation. The successful single cell encapsulation has led to a high distribution of conidia cells on the leaves. The Pickering emulsion-based formulation exhibited significantly higher pest control activity against Spodoptera littoralis larvae compared to the control systems, thus making it a promising, cost-effective, innovative approach for tackling the pest control challenge. © 2018 American Chemical Society.

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