Preparation and characterization of polycaprolactone nanocapsules containing pretilachlor as a herbicide nanocarrier

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2019 Jul;26(21):21579-21588. doi: 10.1007/s11356-019-05257-0. Epub 2019 May 24.


Polycaprolactone nanocapsules (PCL) containing pretilachlor were prepared, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy were used for their structural and morphological investigations. The results revealed that the nanocapsules had irregular shape and their particles size was in the range of 70-200 nm. The encapsulation efficiency of pretilachlor was measured as 99.5 ± 1.3% using high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. The physicochemical stability studies over 60 days showed that the nanocapsules were stable in the suspension without any aggregation. The herbicide activity was examined in a pre-emergence manner using barnyard grass as a target plant and rice as a non-target plant. The nanoformulation had no negative effect on rice plant. However, its effect on barnyard grass was significant. The cytotoxicity analysis indicated that the nanocapsulated herbicide is less toxic rather than the commercial formulation. Therefore, encapsulation of pretilachlor in PCL nanocapsules can be used effectively to construct environmentally friendly PCL-herbicide systems in agriculture.

Keywords: Barnyard grass; Herbicidal activity; Nanoformulation; Polycaprolactone nanocapsules; Pretilachlor.

MeSH terms

  • Acetanilides / chemistry*
  • Herbicides / chemistry*
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Nanocapsules*
  • Particle Size
  • Polyesters / chemistry*
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared


  • Acetanilides
  • Herbicides
  • Nanocapsules
  • Polyesters
  • polycaprolactone
  • pretilachlor