Technology - Self-Healing Elastomers

Self-Healing Elastomers

Elastomers that enable rapid and repeatable self-healing properties in the absence of external stimuli and which can be tuned for mechanical, adhesive and degradable properties.

Background:

Self-healing elastomers that restore their properties after damage hold great promise across a variety of industries and applications.  Those that have been explored for engineering applications (e.g. flexible electrodes and self-healing paints) require harsh conditions (e.g. high temperatures and toxic catalysts) in order to exhibit their self-healing properties, which restricts their use in biomedical applications.  Efforts to incorporate reversible self-healing functionality into soft polymer chains have mostly involved non-degradable polymers while those that are degradable do not possess the ability to properly self-heal at ambient physiologic conditions.  As a result, the clinical use of self-healing elastomers has been limited to applications where biodegradability is not required (e.g. self-healing cements and fillers for orthopedic and dental applications, respectively).

Technology Overview:

This invention provides self-healing elastomers that can be modified to impart adhesive and/or biodegradable properties and/or tuned to adjust mechanical properties, which, as a whole, enable broad application potential.  The elastomers of this invention possess the ability to repeatedly and rapidly self-repair physical damages at ambient conditions without the use of external stimuli.  These elastomers have been used to prepare and test a biodegradable, self-healing vascular (arteriovenous) graft that enables early cannulation following implantation, unlike traditional PTFE grafts that require a 4-week period prior to first cannulation.
Photobank, https://stock.adobe.com/uk/134966809, stock.adobe.com

Advantages:

  • Highly tunable depending on desired application
  • Do not require external stimuli to enable self-healing properties
  • Self-healing at physiologic temperature, where desired
  • Ability to repeatedly self-heal without limitations resulting from consumption of loaded agents

Applications:

  • Biomedical (wearable electronics, biosensors, self-healing electrodes, wound healing, etc.)
  • Industrial (coatings, adhesives, etc.)
  • Tissue engineering (vascular grafts, cardiac/vascular patches, etc.)
  • Drug delivery

Intellectual Property Summary:

US Provisional Patent Application 63/255,012 filed October 13, 2021

Stage of Development:

Preclinical

Licensing Status:

Available for licensing or collaboration.

Patent Information: