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Thermoplastic Elastomers from Glucose

Technology #20160163

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Biodegradable PSARAFT Polymerizationglucose-6-acrylate-1,2,3,4-tetraacetate
Theresa Reineke, 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
Sustainable glucose-based block copolymers exhibit elastomeric and adhesive behavior
Polymer Chemistry, 2016,7, 5233-5240

Biodegradable Thermoplastic Elastomers and Pressure Sensitive Adhesives

Glucose, a widely available and inexpensive sugar molecule derived from corn, can be modified to produce a new, sustainable polymer for use in thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) and pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs). In a simple two-step synthesis, the glucose-based monomer GATA (glucose-6-acrylate-1,2,3,4-tetraacetate) produces diblock and ABA triblock copolymers via Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The resulting polymer combines unique elastomeric segments with glassy segments that physically cross link, resulting in a new family of elastomeric materials. The polymer also exhibits excellent thermal and adhesion properties as well as serviceable tensile strength and elasticity.

MN-IP Try and Buy
  • Trial period is six months
  • Trial fee is $5000
  • Trial fee is waived for MN companies or if sponsoring $50,000+ research with the University
  • No US patent expenses during trial period
  • $25,000 conversion fee (TRY to BUY)
  • Royalty rate of 3% (2% for MN company)
  • Royalty free for first $1M in sales

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** Contact Larry Micek for specific details. **

Sustainable Polymer

Today’s thermoplastic elastomers, used in a wide variety of applications, are typically derived from petroleum and are therefore not biodegradable. This technology uses bio-based and inexpensive materials to produce a new, sustainable polymer that could replace existing petroleum-based materials. This greener polymer also exhibits similar adhesion properties as petroleum-based PSAs.


  • Simple two-step synthesis
  • Glucose derived starting materials
  • Controlled polymerization
  • Diblock and triblock copolymer synthesis
  • Greener elastomeric materials; biodegradable
  • Higher Tg glassy segment compared to styrene block copolymers commonly used in pressure sensitive adhesives


  • Thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs)
  • Pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs)
  • Biomedical use, wound care and transdermal applications

Phase of Development Proof of concept. Polymers synthesized and characterized.