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Technology for super-macroporous hydrogel carriers

Country of Origin: Bulgaria
Reference Number: TOBG20190305001
Publication Date: 6 March 2019


A Bulgarian research organization has developed a facile technology for fast fabrication of super-macroporous hydrogel (cryogel) carriers of various bioactive substances. The materials are spongy-like water-based gels, comprising biocompatible, biodegradable and/or stimuli-responsive polymer network and embedded bioactive substances. The technology is available for demonstration to partners willing to develop innovative products and to sign commercial agreement with technical assistance.


The expertise of the Bulgarian research institution covers advanced synthetic techniques and functional polymeric (nano)materials development. In particular, efforts are focused on photochemical crosslinking of natural polymers (cellulose derivatives, dextran, chitosan, etc.) in frozen aqueous systems and fabrication of biodegradable cryogels applicable as carriers of drugs, enzymes and cells, and scaffolds in the regenerative medicine.
The developed technology is exploited for in-situ fabrication of cryogels containing hydrophilic or hydrophobic low molecular drugs or biomacromolecules via convenient and simple procedure. It involves three main steps - preparation and freezing of aqueous solution, irradiation with high power UV light for 2 – 5 minutes and thawing. Freeze drying is an optional step.
The research organization is seeking a partner that is interested in signing a commercial agreement with technical assistance in order to develop innovative products. The products based on the above-mentioned technology and know-how are with application in pharmacy, medicine and/or biotechnology areas.
Examples of possible products may include, but are not limited to:
- Systems for sustained release of water-soluble or poorly water-soluble drugs. They could be adapted for oral administration, transdermal delivery, wound treatment or personal care products.
- Breathable materials that could replace paste-like products for skin treatment.
- Materials with antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
- Membrane-type flow reactor for hydrolysis of urea – possible application for removal of urea from beverages and blood; in the dialysis regeneration systems of artificial kidney devices.

Advantages and Innovations

Cryogel carriers are water-based systems and no organic solvents are used in the synthesis procedure. Other advantages are: 
o extremely short time of crosslinking reaction, leading to high productivity and very low capital outlay of products;
o polymer cryogels (biocompatible, biodegradable and/or stimuli-responsive) can be synthesized from polymeric precursors without use of acrylates;
o high loading capacity;
o specific release profile can be designed;
o extraordinary mass, oxygen and heat transport.

The technology described is more convenient as compared to the commonly exploited redox-system method and allows faster and better controlled synthesis of cryogel carriers. The whole procedure can be completed in ca. 3 h (vs. 8 to 24 h for redox system) with well differentiated cryo-structuring (first) and photo-crosslinking stages.

Stage Of Development

Available for demonstration

Requested partner

A partner that is willing to develop innovative products based on the technology described with application in pharmacy, medicine and/or biotechnology areas.

Kooperationsanfrage stellen