Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Materials & Chemicals
Materials Chemicals
Functional and Degradable ROMP Polymers for Plastics and Biomaterial
WARF: P120234US02

Inventors: Laura Kiessling, Joshua Fishman, Lynne Prost

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing functionalized ring-opening metathesis polymers that are degradable under acid or base conditions.
Advances in synthetic polymer chemistry have allowed plastics to be produced more easily and cheaply than most naturally occurring materials. Over the last half century, annual production of plastics has outpaced production of lumber, steel and aluminum in the U.S.

Polymers created by a method called ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) are utilized across many disciplines and are popular because they can be tailored, or functionalized, for specific needs. Unfortunately, it has been difficult to produce ROMP polymers that also biodegrade.

Reconciling these properties – customizability and degradability – could lead to polymers that won’t accumulate in landfills and also cause fewer side effects in vivo. For example, the scaffolds needed in tissue targeted therapy (TTT) have not made use of polymers because they don’t degrade and can be toxic to cells over time.
The Invention
UW–Madison researchers have developed functionalized and degradable ROMP polymers. Specifically, monomers having a bicyclic oxazinone core structure have been found to be substrates for the ROMP process using a ruthenium or osmium carbene catalyst. This core may be chemically modified at a site away from the polymerizable moieties and bridgehead carbons. Polymers prepared from these monomers are both acid and base degradable.
  • Biomedicine and drug delivery
  • Commercial plastics
Key Benefits
  • Polymers are both functionalizable and degradable.
  • Retains the benefits of ROMP, like easy functionalization
  • Properties can be tailored without destabilizing the monomer.
Additional Information
  • Fishman J.M. and Kiessling L.L. 2013. Synthesis of Functionalizable and Degradable Polymers by Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 52, 5061-5064.
For current licensing status, please contact Rafael Diaz at [javascript protected email address] or 608-960-9847