Innovation Sphere



Project TitleBiodegradable and Anti-microbial Diol-based Unsaturated Polyesters for Drug Delivery and Tissue Scaffolding Applications
Track Code2016-077
Short DescriptionNone
Tagsbiomaterials, drug delivery, biodegradable, anti-microbial, tissue engineering, polyesters, biomedical, polymers, Hydrogel
Posted DateJan 30, 2017 11:46 AM


Fungal disease of organ systems such as the lungs, skin, and musculoskeletal tissues can be devastating in immunocompromised populations, such as patients suffering from cancer or recovering from organ transplantation.  Furthermore, complications associated with medical implant and medical device-related infections have created a significant clinical need for novel materials capable of both stimulating tissue regeneration and mitigating fungal infections. 


Rice researchers have designed a novel class of diol-based, unsaturated, aliphatic polyesters that biodegrade into monomers capable of mitigating infection. This new class of polymers, the poly(diol fumarates) (PDFs) and poly(diol fumarate-co-succinates) (PDFSs), can be cross-linked to form networks of scaffolds with antimicrobial degradation products. Both the diol carbon chain length as well as degree of available double bonds for functionalization are tunable, and provide for a highly controllable class of antimicrobial polymers.

Benefits and Features

  • Diol-based polyesters that are biodegradable, biocompatible, and funtionalizable.
  • Biodegraded monomers display antimicrobial/antifungal properties and complement their therapeutic payload.
  • Altering the chain lengths of diols and the ratio of fumaric acid to succinic acid allow for tunability of polymer networks.
  • Diol-based macromers can be cross-linked to form 3D polymer networks, including drug delivery vehicles and tissue engineering scaffolds

Market Potential / Applications

The utility of this technology includes uses as cellular scaffolds and drug delivery vehicles for biomedical applications.  This technology may find use in a number of devices ranging from regenerative medicine to drug delivery.  Tunability of these polymers enhance the range of biomedical applications compared to existing biomaterials.

Development and Licensing Status

Diol based polyester drug delivery microparticles have been synthesized and demonstrate localized delivery of therapeutically relevant concentrations of target drug over extended periods of time.  Preliminary pre-clinical studies indicate that this diol based polyester system is capable of restoring normal wound healing in a large skin defect infected with fungi.

This invention has strong translational potential through partnerships with commercial entities and it is available for licensing from Rice University.

Rice Researcher

Antonios G. Mikos is the Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Rice University. He is the Director of the J. W. Cox Laboratory for Biomedical Engineering and the Director of the Center for Excellence in Tissue Engineering at Rice University. His research focuses on the synthesis, processing, and evaluation of new biomaterials for use as scaffolds for tissue engineering, as carriers for controlled drug delivery, and as non-viral vectors for gene therapy. He is the author of over 450 publications and 25 patents

Technology Relevant Papers and Web Links

A US provisional patent application has been filed for this invention.

Case # 2016-077

Inquiries to:

Andy Castillo, (713) 348-2838