WARF: P150079US01

Polymer Coating for Cell Culture Substrates


Padma Gopalan, William Murphy, Samantha Brittelle

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a chemically defined culture surface with long-term stability.
OVERVIEWA stem cell’s microenvironment plays a key role in regulating its behavior (e.g., adhesion, migration, proliferation and differentiation). A variety of templates have been used to study stem cell behavior in vitro including self-assembled monolayers (SAMs), hydrogels and thin films.

Polymer coatings are one of the few good templates that are compatible with a wide range of substrates and have good physical stability. However, the coating must remain insoluble and not split away from the underlying substrate for the duration of the cell culture. This limits the kinds of polymers that can be used.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed a new crosslinkable polymer coating for cell culture substrates. The nanometer-thin coating is made of glycidyl groups and azlactone groups distributed randomly along the copolymer backbone.

The coating is substrate independent and can be applied to a wide variety of organic and inorganic materials including plastic, silicon, glass and gold.
  • Cell culture substrates
  • Cell expansion, manufacturing and differentiation studies
  • Particularly useful for stem cells
  • Provides chemically defined surface
  • Long-term stability under culture conditions
  • Does not degrade in solution for 30 days or more
  • Coating is substrate independent.
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENTThe coating has been demonstrated to work on glass, gold, polystyrene, polycarbonate and silicon substrates. It has been applied to large areas for growth of cells in well-defined conditions. Moreover, the researchers have shown adhesion of human mesenchymal stem cells and embryonic stem cells to the coating, which remains effective down to five nanometers.

For More Information About the Inventors
  • Schmitt S.K., Xie A.W., Ghassemi R.M., Trebatoski D.J., Murphy W.L and Gopalan P. 2015. Polyethylene Glycol Coatings on Plastic Substrates for Chemically Defined Stem Cell Culture. Adv. Healthcare Mater. 4, 1555-1564.
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jeanine Burmania at or 608-960-9846.
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