Functionalized Poly(glycolide) Polymers for Biomedical Applications


Executive Summary


Polylactic acid (PLA) and polyglycolides are attractive alternatives to petroleum-derived plastics for biomedical applications. They are biodegradable, thermoplastic, and derived from renewable resources. However, there are functional characteristics associated with these polymers that limit their use for some biomedical applications. These include their hydrophobicity and their lack of chemical functionality along their backbone. MSU researchers have developed a poly(glycolide) polymer that has pendent alkynyl groups along the backbone. This allows the attachment of various functional groups by convenient click chemistry, which opens the potential for various new biomedical applications. 


Description of the Technology


This invention is a poly(glycolide) polymer consisting of a polymerized alkynyl substituted glycolide. A variety of alkynyl substituted glycolides made be used and the poly(glycolide) may further include lactide repeating units to form a copolymer. The poly(glycolide) polymer can be conveniently modified by the reaction of an azide containing compound to form a functionalized polymer. 



  • Lower Critical Solution Temperatures at physiological relevant temperatures. The polymers undergo solution to gel transition at or near room temperature, enabling usage for a number of in vivo drug delivery applications.
  • Low cost and less complex process for production. Lower production costs may favor these compounds as an alternative to petroleum-derived plastics.
  • Biocompatible and biodegradable



  • biomedical materials
  • drug delivery vehicles


Patent Status

Granted US Patent 8,927,682



Licensing Rights 

Full licensing rights available




Gregory Baker, Milton Smith III, Xuwei Jiang, Erin Vogel


Tech ID




Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Jon Debling
Technology Manager
Michigan State University