Novel Bio-hybrid/Bio-functional Materials

A novel method of encapsulating microbes within crosslinked electrospun hydrogel fibers that maintain their viability. Background: Electrospinning is a process where interactions between an electrostatic field and a fluid are utilized to form nanoscale and microscale polymer fibers. These fibers can be collected to form an interconnected web of fibers, or a film. These films have large surface area to volume ratios, high permeability, and small pores; these qualities make them ideal for containing bacteria. Previous attempts to encapsulate microbes in nanofibers involved bulk immobilization in gels. Two problems arose due to this method; either the microbe did not survive, or the thick polymer was difficult to work with due to thickness and lack of porosity. When electrospinning was tested as a method, either the microbe did not survive, or the final material was soluble in aqueous solution, leading to its disintegration, and therefore the release of microbes. There is a need for a process for encapsulating microbes where the microbes are viable and the material is insoluble in aqueous solution. Technology Overview: A method for encapsulating microbes within crosslinked electrospun hydrogel fibers is provided. A mixture of microbes and a water soluble, crosslinkable polymer that is capable of forming a hydrogel upon crosslinkage is formed. The polymer is electrospun to form fibers, and the microbes are encapsulated within these fibers. The electrospun fibers are crosslinked to form crosslinked electrospun hydrogel fibers, and these fibers are water insoluble. Advantages: -When microbes are encapsulated, they are viable and capable of bioremediation

-Final material is water insoluble

-Produced hydrogel fibers are water insoluble and permeable Applications: -Encapsulation of microbes

-Making and using porous films Intellectual Property Summary: Patented Stage of Development: [8367109]( Licensing Potential: Licensing,Commercial partner,Development partner Licensing Status: Available for licensing. R-8188 Additional Information: electrospinning,electrostatic,electrostatic field,polymer fiber,encapsulate,bioremediation,encapsulation,nanotechnology,electrospun fiber,fiber,fibre,hydrogel,nanofiber,nanofibers,cross-linked polymer,cross-linked,crosslinked polymer,porous media,porous materials,insoluble material,electrospun material,electrospun fibre,crosslinkable,microbe encapsulation Source: DrHughManning/Wikimedia,, CC BY SA 4.0.

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