Cost-Efficient, Biodegradable Microspheres with Control of Diameter, Density, Color and Surface Chemistry

BACKGROUND: Currently commercialized microspheres for flow measurement and bioscience applications are manufactured via polymerization processes that are costly or impossible to customize and require handling of hazardous materials. Further, the resulting microspheres contain hazardous or non-biodegradable components which often prohibit their release to the public environment. These issues drive manufacturing cost up and limit the size of markets for the product.

DESCRIPTION: Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have developed microspheres with much reduced manufacturing cost and complexity. Production of the microspheres does not require the use of any hazardous materials and the resulting microspheres are completely biodegradable. The physical characteristics of the microspheres are easily customized in terms of I) size, II) surface colorings and coatings, and III) density.


* Highly customizable to market needs.
* Low cost; low complexity.
* No hazardous chemicals involved in manufacturing process or in the final product.


* Seed materials for Particle Imaging Velocimetry or Laser Doppler Anemometry.
* Flow cytometry labels.
* Drug delivery research and development.
* Phase change material for heat transfer fluids.

STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT: Working prototype completed


* "A method for three-dimensional interfacial particle image velocimetry (3D-IPIV) of an air–water interface" Damon E Turney, Angelika Anderer and Sanjoy Banerjee, MEASUREMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, March 2009.

This technology is available for licensing. Patent pending.

REFERENCE: 2009-024

Fig. 1. Biodegradable Microspheres

Type of Offer: Licensing

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