Biodegradable and Versatile Copolymers to Promote Wound Healing

Invention Summary:

Rutgers scientists have developed a copolymer formulation to stably release salicylic acid (SA). It holds the promise for promoting topical and surgical wound healing, as SA is known to reduce local pain and inflammation as well as potentially prevent fibrous adhesion formation by reducing scar tissue. The release is stable over a period of around 10 days, which is the critical window for fibrous adhesion formation.

The novel formulation is achieved by copolymerization of salicylic acid-based poly(anhydride-esters) (SAPAE) with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). The copolymer with SAPAE and PEG has a low glass transition temperature (<-5°C) that allows extrusion from a syringe at room temperature for easy application and good adherence. SA is released in a close to zero-order manner, which is typical for poly(anhydride-esters). The lag period of SA release can be fine-tuned by admixing free form SA and/ or SA-diacids with the polymers. This is crucial to clinical applications because the drug release profile immediate following injury is critical to the treatment outcome, such as in wound healing treatments and fibrous adhesion prevention after surgery.

The copolymer exhibits anti-inflammatory activity and high biocompatibility in vitro. Further, the material can be readily formulated into creams, ointments,  or sprays, for topical and surgical applications. Polymers containing other NSAIDs, antioxidants, antibiotics and analgesics can also be added to the copolymer matrix to achieve a synergistic effect for promoting wound healing.

Market Applications:

Novel materials to promote topical and surgical wound healing by reducing pain, inflammation, and other complications such as fibrous adhesion formation; can be used as a device coating or a stand-alone treatment.


  • Stable, near zero-order salicylic acid release over ~10 days
  • Easy applic ation and good adherence
  • Versatile formulations
  • Complete biodegradation
  • High biocompatibility
  • Possibility to incorporate other active agents (e.g. other NSAIDs, antioxidants, antibiotics and analgesics) for synergistic effect

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaborations.

Rutgers ID: 2012-096
Life Sciences
Shan Wan
Senior Licensing Manager
(848) 932-4468
Kathryn Uhrich
Sabrina Snyder
Wound Healing