Partnering opportunity

Unique microporous polymer structure through a special manufacturing process offered for a license agreement

Summary

Researchers of a German university invented a unique microporous polymer structure with completely crosslinked channels through a special, template-controlled manufacturing process. This specific structure of micro-channels can be used to decontaminate contact lenses cases and water reservoirs etc. from pathogens such as Acanthamoeba castellanii. A company or a research institution is sought in Europe for a license agreement with technical assistance.

Partner sought

The university is looking for a research-oriented company with infrastructure and know-how to jointly develop marketable concepts for novel products or for a partner to transfer the knowledge into already existing products. It is also looking for a company involved in applications that range from 3D cell cultures to implant materials. The university wants to commercialize the process for a licence agreement with technical assistance.

Description

A group of researchers of a German university developed novel microstructured 3D hydrogels for control of cellular mechanotransduction. Mechanotransduction is a process of transferring mechanical signals into cellular reactions. It has great impact on cellular activity by modifying their proliferation, migration, differentiation and cell adhesion. These cellular properties are also influenced by the 3D architecture of their extracellular environment. The research results present a highly attractive 3D interconnected micro-channeled soft biomaterial to mimic architecture and mechanical properties of the natural cellular environment and thus to control cellular mechanotransduction pathways. The fabrication process is based on hydrolyzing micrometer-sized tetrapods within a hydrogel, leading to hollow interconnected channels inside the hydrogel. The material possesses unique features such as a high micropore fraction >75 vol% as well as adoptable mechanical properties of the hydrogel. The specific structure and size distribution of micro channels in the 3D hydrogel can also be used for decontamination of e.g. contact lenses cases and water reservoirs from pathogens such as Acanthamoeba castellanii. These parasites can even be captured inside the microchannel network and were removed from their incubation medium by the porous polyacrylamide. The huge potential of the new technique is also applicable in medical sector, for example in stem cells differentiation and stem cells technology and moreover in pharmaceutical and tissue engineering. For this new methodology, a patent is applied for. To open up the market for this procedure the university offers its invention for a license agreement with technical assistance to research-oriented companies in Europe.

Advantages and innovations

The invented 3D material has the following advantages and innovations: - can capture cells - can be fabricated in different levels of complexity - can be fabricated using high-throughput processes - excellent control on cells

Development stage

Prototype available for demonstration

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted


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