Surface Functionalization of Polymers for Drug Delivery

Nanotechnologies : Life Science Apps

Available for licensing


  • Krishnendu Roy, Ph.D. , Biomedical Engineering
  • Laxminarayan Raja, Ph.D. , Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

Background/unmet need

Currently, wet chemical conjugation and simple adhesion are used to achieve surface functionalization of biodegradable polymer particles. Unfortunately, both of these methods have poor reproducibility, they are inefficient, and they have complex processing requirements and toxicity issues associated with the chemicals used to modify the polymers.

Invention Description

This technology represents a biodegradable polymer for the controlled delivery of drugs and vaccines that makes use of atmospheric-pressure glow (APG) plasma. By utilizing APG plasma, functionalization occurs on the exposed surface area of the polymer. This unique plasma works by allowing particle suspension in the gas phase, which in turn allows the surface particles to be charged and chemically functionalized. Further processing allows particular proteins, nucleic acids, contrast agents, or drugs of interest to be incorporated into the polymer.


  • Efficient
  • High throughput
  • Cost effective
  • No need for high vacuum or high temperature
  • Safer alternative because no surfactants used
  • No structural damage to particle surface
  • Environmentally friendly


  • Entire exposed surface area is functionalized
  • Enables continuous processing of particles
  • Plasma-based processing technique
  • Low ion impact energies
  • Room temperature and atmospheric pressure operation

Market potential/applications

This technology can be applied to tissue engineering, prosthesis, and even non-biomedical applications.

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