SBIR Phase II: Correlation of Surface Free Energy and Cytocompatibility of Amphiphilic Biomaterials

Period of Performance: 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2012


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Rochal Industries
Principal Investigator, Firm POC


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project pertains to the development of a spray-on polymer coating using a novel amphiphilic polymer in a non-stinging, volatile hydrophobic solvent for treatment of first and second degree burn wounds with reduction of scar formation, wherein a transparent, flexible substrate for human cell attachment, viability and proliferation is formed without any added exogenous biological components. No methods currently exist for treating burns that concurrently reduce pain upon treatment, are intimately conformal to regular and irregular (face, fingers) wound surfaces, provide a cell substrate for wound closure and healing, and do not require dressing removal, such as with the proposed spray-on polymer coating. This investigation will involve cytocompatibility and wound healing studies of these novel polymers, in conjunction with a determination of the polymers? physical and mechanical properties needed for spray-on characteristics. The success of this investigation will demonstrate that a sophisticated, yet inexpensive, easily applied, conformal polymer coating can be used for burn treatment with reduction of scarring. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project pertains to the commercialization of a novel spray-on transparent polymer coating, delivered from a non-stinging, volatile hydrophobic solvent, to treat first and second degree burn injuries, with reduction of scar formation. Burn injuries constitute one of the most expensive aspects of health care. There are more than 40 million scar patients worldwide per year, at a treatment cost of $12 billion. Currently, no commercial burn care product or methodology provides for improved burn healing with reduced pain and reduced scar formation utilizing a patient and caregiver-friendly technique such as given by this investigation. Despite substantial research in tissue engineering for the preparation of scaffolds for topical wound care, the few commercialized products are costly in preparation, storage and use, and are subject to degradation and loss of activity. With the success of this project, a new technology will be developed that significantly improves burn treatment, is based upon readily synthesized, stable polymers in a commercially-available solvent, that provides a transparent, water-insoluble, oxygen- and water-vapor permeable coating suitable for use over large area burn wounds without forming a patch-work design, and which self-removes as the wound heals.