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Coatings have simple recipe for success

Cheap approach, natural ingredients may prove useful in foods, medicines

By
1:51pm, July 11, 2013

It’s not often that chemists find a quick, simple and cheap method for making things using widely available ingredients, but researchers have done just that: They’ve created elegant little capsules and coatings in water simply by mixing iron and a compound from plants called tannic acid. The soft coatings form on their own around whatever else is in the water — glass beads, bacteria, gold nanoparticles and more. Just changing the solution’s pH can prompts the coatings to disassemble.

The coatings’ ingredients are considered safe — tannic acid is found in wine, while iron is an important element for living things. That means the capsules

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