Simple preparation of stiff gel adhesives, sealants, and sustained release devices for underwater use


Project ID: D2014-08


Invention Novelty: Adhesive gels that suggest a new class of self-assembled adhesives can be prepared from inexpensive and readily-available ingredients. These gels provide a simple and scalable platform for underwater adhesion, adhere to dissimilar substrates underwater and deliver adhesion strengths that are comparable to those of natural underwater adhesives produced by barnacles and sandcastle worms

Invention Description: Dr. Yakov Lapitsky, Principal Investigator at the University of Toledo’s Colloid & Polymer Science Lab, and graduate students Yan Huang and Patrick G. Lawrence at the University of Toledo have developed adhesive gels that suggest a new class of self-assembled adhesives that can be prepared from inexpensive and readily-available ingredients, and provide a simple and scalable platform for underwater adhesion or controlled release.

Value Proposition: Key advantages of this technology include:

•       The polymer, poly(allylamine) (PAH) is an FDA-approved orally administered drug that uses covalently-crosslinked PAH as its active ingredient;

•       The ionic crosslinkers, pyrophosphate (PPi) and tripolyphosphate (TPP), are both on FDA’s generally recognized as safe (GRAS) list. Simple, inexpensive and scalable preparation;

•       Uses common, commercially available polymers and salts that are approved for use in food and oral drug administration;

•       Gels form via self-assembly so require no chemical crosslinking which minimizes risk of harmful side reactions;

•       Gels are very stiff, which helps immobilize the bonded surfaces;

•       Demonstrates excellent adherence to hydrophilic and hydrophobic substrates;

•       Self-healing when torn;

•       Can be redissolved on demand by changing the ambient solution conditions;

•       Creates an effective barrier for molecular diffusion, suggesting that the adhesive gels will also be effective vehicles for controlled release over highly-extended timescales.

Applications: Controlled release of disinfectants, fragrances and herbicides, underwater adhesive or sealant for repairs in wet environments, or adhesive vehicle for multiple-month drug or antimicrobial agent release for biomedical devices.

IP Status: U.S. Utility Patent Application No. 14/639,759; Pub. No. US2016-0074516-A1

Publications: Huang, Y.; Lawrence, P.G.; Lapitsky, Y. Self-assembly of stiff, adhesive and self-healing gels from common polyelectrolytes. Langmuir 30, 7771-7777 (2014).

Lawrence, P.G.; Lapitsky, Y. Ionically cross-linked poly(allylamine) as a stimulus-responsive underwater adhesive: Ionic strength and pH effects. Langmuir 31, 1564-1574 (2015).

Lawrence, P.G.; Patil, P.S.; Leipzig, N.D.; Lapitsky, Y. Ionically cross-linked polymer networks for the multiple-month release of small molecules. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 8, 4323-4335 (2016).


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Anne Izzi
Licensing Associate
The University of Toledo
419 530 6226
Yakov Lapitsky
Yan Huang
Bio-adhesive Drug Carrier
Controlled Release
Underwater Adhesive