The University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office (TTO) has awarded Daewon Park, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering, a State Bioscience Proof of Concept Grant (POCsb) for his proposal to further develop the technology identified to the TTO as Antimicrobial reverse thermal gel for surgical coating.
This proposal aims at developing a polymer-based antimicrobial surgical coating that can act as a surgical incision drape. This polymer is specifically designed to possess a reverse thermal gelling property. It is a water-soluble material and maintains its solution state at low temperature whilst turning into a physical gel upon heating (e.g. upon contact of human skin). This unique property allows the product to be easily sprayed on the patient’s skin and form a layer of antimicrobial gel on the skin surface. During the surgery the gel might dry out and form a film on the skin; however, the film will maintain its antimicrobial activity during the entire surgical process. Moreover, since the polymer returns to solution state at low temperature, it can be easily removed by washing with cold water (or cold alcohol) without the risk of epidermal cell layer detachment. Some may worry that the gel may be solubilized during the surgery by body fluid (e.g., blood); however, once the gel is formed, it only returns to a liquid state in a low temperature environment (<~15oC).