Office for Technology Commercialization

Biodegradable, Biocompatible and Bioresorbable Microbeads

Technology #20160304

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Image Gallery
MicrobeadsBiodegradable Microbeads
Jafar Golzarian, MD
Professor, Radiology
External Link (
Lihui Weng, PhD
Associate Professor, Radiology
External Link (
Managed By
Kevin Anderson
Technology Licensing Officer 612-624-8293
Patent Protection

US Patent Pending US20170273888

Environmentally Friendly Polymer for Microspheres, Gels or Foam Patches

A binary resorbable system crosslinks carboxymethyl chitosan (CCN) and oxidized carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) for external application materials in the form of microspheres, bulk gels, films or foam patches. Chitosan breaks down to glucosamine, which can be absorbed by the body, and CMC is substantially non-toxic and biodegradable. Therefore, the crosslinked polymer formed by CCN and CMC is expected to be substantially non-toxic (i.e., biocompatible), biodegradable/bioresorbable and therefore environmentally friendly. In addition, the non-toxic material is easy and inexpensive to fabricate and simple to use.

Personal Care and Medical Applications

The material can be loaded with active agents to facilitate delivery to a desired treatment site where it releases an active ingredient for topical personal care or medical care, and they can be used for industrial applications such as microsphere toothpaste fillers. Hydrogels with excellent hydrophilicity would significantly improve the moisture retention in facial products and wound care/bandages. In addition, the biocompatible polymer foam can be used to stop bleeding in patients.

Microbead Alternative

Currently, microbeads used in personal care products are made of non-resorbable synthetic polymer microspheres (polyethylene or polypropylene), which cause significant environmental problems. These tiny plastic beads can enter waterways and bodies of aquatic animals, damaging water supplies, marine life and ecological balance. And for bleeding control in interventional radiology, radiologists typically use gelfoam, which provokes significant inflammation. These new materials, biodegradable and with environmentally friendly degradation byproducts, could replace the problematic permanent microbeads and can be made into a biocompatible polymer foam that replaces irritating gelfoam.


  • Rapidly and controllably biodegradable to invert material; environmental friendly
  • Not a petrochemical; not derived from animal proteins
  • CCN and CMC are each biodegradable and biocompatible
  • May include an active ingredient (e.g., analgesic or other pain killer, anti-acne agent, etc.)
  • Can be loaded with active agents for topical applications (e.g., facial masks (film or gel), facial scrubs (microspheres), and medical care (hemostasis patches (film or foam) and wound healing bandages)
  • Industrial applications (e.g., toothpaste fillers (microspheres)to increase the cleaning efficiency)
  • Microbeads/gels used for exfoliation would later degrade


  • Analgesic/pain killer delivery
  • Anti-acne agent
  • Anti-wrinkle products
  • Consumer cosmetics
  • Eczema products
  • Facial/body scrubs/exfoliators
  • Personal care products
  • Skincare products
  • Stopping bleeding
  • Surface cleaning abrasives (e.g., tooth, skin, etc.)
  • Toothpastes
  • Topical antibiotics
  • Topical pain relief
  • Trauma care
  • Wound care, bandages

Phase of Development - In-vitro Assessment

Interested in Licensing?
The University relies on industry partners to scale up technologies to large enough production capacity for commercial purposes. The license is available for this technology and would be for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the issued patents. Please contact Kevin Anderson to share your business needs and technical interest in this polymer technology and if you are interested in licensing the technology for further research and development.