Florida International University (FIU) is pursuing a business partner interested in developing and commercializing Autofluorescent Hydrogels Nanoparticles and Microparticles that do not require fluorophore tagging.
Hydrogels are the three-dimensional network of hydrophilic polymers, which have the ability to imbibe large amount of water inside them. Their soft porous structure makes them resemble the human tissue and serves as prefect candidate for drug delivery and tissue engineering applications. Many studies showed the development of fluorescence based hydrogels for various applications including sensing and tracking therapeutics in vitro and in vivo. To obtain hydrogels with fluorescent properties, it is possible to immobilize chemically or physically fluorophores inside the hydrogel matrix. However, these techniques have several drawbacks; the synthetic routes are complex and tedious, the fluorophores addition can affect the sought after hydrogel features, such as biocompatibility and biodegradability, and the resulting hydrogels suffer from potential leakage and photobleaching of fluorophores.
FIU inventors have developed autofluorescent hydrogels nanoparticles and microparticles that comprises cross-linked gels of chitosan, hydroxyethyl cellulose, linseed oil polyol and a crosslinking agent, such as glutaraldehyde. These particles exhibit multi-channel fluorescence properties, which makes them a unique imaging agent having a wide detection limit that is accessible for a variety of instruments. These particles are useful for diagnostics and therapeutics purposes including drug delivery, imaging of drug migration, and selectivity by the tagging or binding of the hydrogel nanoparticles and microparticles with appropriate antibodies or antigens. They also can include magnetic nanoparticles, allowing a drug delivery formulation to possess target specificity combined with in vivo drug monitoring.
- Targeted drug delivery and image-guided therapy
- In vivo drug monitoring and diagnosis
- Possess excellent biocompatibility, cell uptake and surface functionality
- Do not require any additional fluorescent labels
- Can be used with various instruments