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Keywords: Biomaterials

Market Overview

FFA-based biomaterials created via this novel crosslinking process have significant opportunity for application in medical device implants. The global market for medical device coatings is expected to reach $7.9 billion in 2021. However, common materials for these coatings, such as stainless steel, titanium, and Teflon, often provoke an aggressive immune response that can cause the implants to degrade and fail. Where FFA based biomaterials have shown promise, the previous methods used to crosslink them yielded materials inherently susceptible to the same pattern of degredation. Clemson researchers have developed a novel process to crosslink these FFAs, rendering them more durable, less inflammatory, and highly antimicrobial, conferring significant advantage over previous iterations.


Bioengineering, Medical Device Implant, Antibacterial, Antimicorbial

Technical Summary:

Incorporating Free Fatty Acids into composite materials via covalent crosslinking with elemental sulfur substantially improves on oxidative crosslinking methods that resulted in weakly bound molecules. Alone, FFAs and triglycerides do not posses adequate strength to serve in biomaterial applications. The former strategy to increase their strength involved the production of oxygen-crosslinked chains, the resultant produce still being susceptible to degredation and provoking an inflammatory immune response. Using elemental sulfur to crosslink FFAs via a thiol-ene type reaction generates FFA/S8 composites instead, free from the hazards of degradation and immune response activation, as well as being inherently antimicrobial, all of which are excellent qualities for use in a medical implant device.


  • FFAs crossslinked using elemental sulfur, conferring strong antimicrobial properties beneficial for preventing infection due to an implant
  • FFAs crosslinked using elemental sulfur, improving strength and durability necessary for use in medical implant devices, offering an advantage over oxidative crosslinking methods
  • Biomaterials based on FFAs, eliminating the aggressive immune response the human body has to other foreign materials

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Technology Overview

State of Development


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Serial Number


CURF Reference No.



Andrew Tennyson, Rhett Smith

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