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Polyisobutylene Alternative in Thermoplastic Polyurethanes

Technology #20150306

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Polyisobutylene AlternativePolyisobutylene Alternative
Marc Hillmyer, PhD
Professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Science and Engineering
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Managed By
Larry Micek
Technology Licensing Officer 612-624-9568
Patent Protection

US Patent Pending

Improved Polyisobutylene Alternative

A monomer has been created that can be used to synthesize hydroxy-telechelic poly(ethylene-co-isobutylene) (PEIB) and is an alternative to polyisobutylene (PIB) in thermoplastic polyurethanes. PIB offers advantageous traits such as chemical resistance, low permeability and excellent stability, and is biocompatible and approved for use in biomedical applications. However, PIB has been a challenge to synthesize. This new monomer offers an improved, more efficient synthesis and purification, allowing for easier control of polymer properties and composition as well as improved stability of polyurethanes. Hydroxy-telechelic PEIB also has low Tg values and high thermal resistance.

Thermoplastic Polyurethanes Application

The new monomer, (Z)-5,5-dimethylcyclooct-1-ene (Me2COE), was synthesized from inexpensive 1,5-cyclooctadiene (COD), and then the amorphous PEIB was obtained through ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) of the monomer Me2COE followed by hydrogenation and end-group hydrolysis. The Tg, crystallinity and equivalent isobutylene content can be tuned through the copolymerization incorporating cis-cyclooctene (COE) as a comonomer. This polymer, with properties similar to PIB, shows potential for use in similar applications.


  • Improved stability of polyurethanes
  • Improved synthesis allows for easier control of polymer properties and composition
  • Efficient synthesis and purification of monomer
  • Hydroxy-telechelic PEIBs show low Tg values and high thermal resistance
  • Potential use in medical devices and industrial applications

Phase of Development Proof of concept