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    Phone: (307) 766-2520

    Fax: (307) 766-2530

    Email: WyomingInvents@uwyo.edu

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    Methods of Generating Microparticles and Porous Hydrogels Using Microfluidics

    UW ID: 15-093

     

    Description of Technology

              Manufacturers use polymers to make plastics and other materials. Polymerization is a method of forming monomer chains to create bigger polymers. The size and shape of these polymers can be changed based on how the polymerization is undertaken. Currently, polymerization proceeds in an open-air environment. Such an environment presents a number of challenges, the most prominent one being oxygen which can inhibit the polymerization process.

              Researchers at the University of Wyoming devised a way to negate the issue of oxygen inhibiting polymerization by creating a system that purges all the oxygen in an environment and replaces it with nitrogen. The cells and prepolymer solution are mixed with and carried into the nitrogen environment by an oil. The polymerization then occurs as the mixture flows down channels. This allows for the process to be continuous and for a mass production of particles. The polymerization carried out in this setting can create much smaller polymers with lower monomer concentration compared to current methods because the oxygen is not inhibiting the process.

     

    Applications

              This new method’s ability to polymerize small polymers gives the end user a greater choice of what size of polymer they want to create. The small polymers also extend the uses of polymerization past what was previously possible. These polymers can be used for many biological applications such as drug delivery, tissue engineering, and stem cell therapies. Since the method is continuous and has the ability to mass produce microparticles, it can be used in an industrial setting for manufacturing.

     

    Features & Benefits

    • Creates an oxygen-controlled environment to negate troubles with oxygen during polymerization for stable particle photopolymerization on a chip

    • Creates polymers with a lower monomer concentration and smaller size than methods before allowing producers to select the exact size needed for the application

    • Continuous process for mass production

    Downloadable PDF: 15-093

    Inventors: 

    John Oakey

    Kaspars Krutkramelis

    Bingzhao Xia

     

    Patent Status:  

    Utility Patent

     

    Contact Us: 

    University of Wyoming Technology Transfer and Research Products Center 

    Dept. 3672

    1000 E. University Ave. 

    Laramie, WY 

    82071 

    Phone: 307-766-2520

    Fax: 307-766-2530

    Email: WyomingInvents@uwyo.edu

    Contact Us

    Wyoming Technology Transfer and Research Products Center

    Dept. 3672

    1000 E. University Ave.

    Laramie, WY 82071

    Phone: (307) 766-2520

    Fax: (307) 766-2530

    Email: WyomingInvents@uwyo.edu

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