Printable and non-biofouling hydrogels for surface modification and biosensing

Renseignements sur le financement
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Type de subvention: De l'idée à l'innovation
  • Année: 2018/19
  • Financement total: $125,000
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Sommaire du projet

Preventing protein binding to interfaces is essential in a variety of applications. In biomaterial implants or biomedical devices, protein binding is the first step toward inflammation which can lead to device rejection, secondary infection, and/or patient discomfort. In biosensing applications, protein binding blocks binding sites for the desired target and often induces a false baseline signal that makes biosensor readings less accurate and less sensitive. In bioseparations applications, protein or other molecular binding can block membrane pores and/or change how different species diffuse, reducing the resolution and speed of the separation. In advanced "lab-on-a-chip" applications, protein binding can alter the concentration of the target molecule while also requiring high pressures to pump fluids through the device. To address this challenge, we have developed a new hydrogel formulation based on the mixing-induced rapid gelation between hydrazide and aldehyde-functionalized poly(ethylene glycol methacrylate) (POEGMA) precursor polymers. Such polymers can be dip-coated, printed, and/or flow processed to create protein-repellent hydrogels at interfaces of any desired geometry. Compared to other options for fabricating protein-repellent materials, our materials offer the benefits of low viscosity processing, single (or few) step gel formation without the need for external energy, additional chemicals, or non-physiological conditions, and controllable degradation rates. In this Idea to Innovation (Phase 1) proposal, we aim to leverage the highly promising results we have acquired in the context of biomedical applications to generate proof-of-concept data supporting the use of our POEGMA polymers in a lower translational barrier application: protein-repellent coatings on membranes, electrodes, surgical staples,*microfluidic devices, and contact lenses. These applications have attracted direct interest from Canadian commercialization partners, and we envision that the reduction-to-practice of these materials coupled with the planned validation of our technology relative to current coating technologies will attract licensing interest from these (and other) companies to move our hydrogel coating to the market.*