Multi-Arm Block-Copolymers for Multifunctional Self-Assembled Systems

Tech ID: 29499 / UC Case 2017-020-0


UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering have developed a novel polymer that can be used as an antimicrobial coating on surgical implants.


Bacterial infections and biofilm formation is a major post-operative complication associated with surgical implants. As such, the market for antimicrobial medical device coatings in US alone is projected to grow to $9.0 billion at a CAGR of 7.3%. Biopolymer coatings are widely used on the surgical implants to prevent infections as they can locally release antibiotics. However, the current products such as PMMA (polymethylmethacrylate), iodine and nanosilver suffer from toxicity concerns, are non-biodegradable and only operate via passive antibiotic release. There is a large unmet need for a robust antimicrobial coating polymer.


UCLA researchers have developed a novel, multi-functional polymer that alleviates the drawbacks of current antimicrobial products. The polymer is easily synthesized by a two-step process and forms hydrogels easily. It is non-toxic, biodegradable and releases antibiotics slowly through both passive elution and active mechanisms causing a high local concentration of the antibiotic. In vivo experiments in a mouse model show that it efficiently releases antibiotics for up to 14 days.


  • Orthopaedic implants 
  • Surgical implants 
  • Local drug delivery


  • Easy two-step synthesis 
  • Biodegradable 
  • Both passive and active mechanisms for sustained release of antibiotics 
  • Fast self-assembling time 
  • No requirement of prior assembly 
  • Multi-arm block copolymer for multi-functionality

State Of Development

  • Extensively tested in vitro 
  • Tested in vivo in mouse model systems

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Published Application 20190388583 12/26/2019 2017-020

Additional Patent Pending

Related Materials


Learn About UC TechAlerts - Save Searches and receive new technology matches


  • Segura, Tatiana

Other Information


Biopolymer, Implants, Antibiotic delivery, Drug Delivery, Orthopaedic Implants, Copolymer, Antimicrobial implant coating

Categorized As