Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have developed soy-based thermosensitive hydrogels, which may be used in numerous medical applications including medical devices, soft contact lenses, drug delivery systems, and wound dressings. Hydrogels are a synthetic, super absorbent, “jelly-like” material used in diapers, contact lenses, and other plastic-type products. ARS’s hydrogels are prepared from soybean oil and are sensitive to temperature. This is an advantage over existing hydrogels since they are biodegradable, non-toxic and, in many cases, cost less than petroleum based materials—which are commonly used to produce hydrogels. The hydrogels are pH sensitive—pH levels change in diseased areas of the body—which may make them ideal for site-specific drug delivery for treating or controlling diseases. Other commercial hydrogels have limited applications because they are not stable, and water and fluid easily destroy them. ARS’s hydrogels are hydrophobic (repels water) making them very promising for medical applications, like artificial hearts and other organs that are now being developed. Hydrogels modified with cultured human tissue are a good prospect. ARS researchers are seeking a cooperative partner for manufacturing the product. Regulatory approval will be required for specific medical applications using this technology.
Companies that manufacture medical devices (including ophthalmologic and implantable devices), personal health care products, and wound care products should be able to develop this technology into a commercial product. The technology can also be used by the pharmaceutical industry (particularly those that produce drug-delivery systems).
Please refer to S.N. 11/240,426 (Docket #0063.04), “Soy-Based Thermosensitive Hydrogels for Controlled Release Systems,” filed September 30, 2005. Foreign rights are available.
Sevim Z. Erhan
Food and Industrial Oil Research
Peoria, Illinois 61604
Phone: (309) 681-6532
Fax: (309) 681-6340 email@example.com
(Same as first inventor)
Phone: (309) 681-6104
Fax: (309) 681-6340