The Uhrich group at Rutgers University has developed various biodegradable polymers that chemically incorporate bioactive molecules, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., salicylic acid), antioxidants (e.g., ferulic acid) and antimicrobials (e.g., carvacrol). Bioactive molecules are incorporated into polymer backbones through labile linkages, enabling high bioactive loading and sustained and controlled release upon degradation (e.g., hydrolysis). The release profile is well controlled based on the polymer chemical compositions, and can be adjusted to the desired release time frame (from hours, days, to months). The polymers have great potential for localized release, and their patented synthetic approaches are highly flexible to accommodate other bioactives of interest with different functionalities such as phenols and carboxylates. Compared to bioactives themselves, the polymers can be easily formulated into various geometries for applications requiring microspheres, hydrogels, films, and/or disks. Further, polymeric versions of bioactives are more stable on storage than the bioactives alone.
Our newly developed one-pot synthesis method enables direct incorporation of bioactives (e.g., salicylic acid) in a time-efficient and economic way. In addition, elimination of excessive toxic solvents makes this approach exceptionally beneficial for food packaging, cosmetics/personal care, and medical applications.
- Pharmaceuticals: targeted drug delivery system
- Medical device/device coating: antimicrobial, anti-biofilm, promote bone regeneration
- Personal care/cosmetics: polymerizing natural bioactives that are antimicrobials, antioxidants, skin whiteners, etc
- Food products, food packaging, and food processing equipment
- Applicable to a variety of natural bioactives
- Tunable and controlled bioactive release profile
- High bioactive content in polymer
- Ease of formulation into different geometries and formulations
Intellectual Property & Development Status:
Large IP portfolio including issued and pending patents in U.S. and other major market countries; claims broadly cover both compositions and synthetic methods. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.