Injectable Protein-Based Hydrogels with Ligand-Mediated Reinforcement for Long-Term In Vivo Applications

Case ID:

This technology is a protein-based hydrogel that uses cross-links to self-assemble after injection. The technology addresses the issue with in vivo use of hydrogels by merging the biocompatability of a protein hydrogel with a reinforced rupture force typically found in chemical hydrogels. An injectable hydrogel with these properties has immense potential for use in advanced wound care, drug delivery and tissue repair.


Hydrogels have compositions of various strengths, breathability, duration and sterility. These compositions are being quickly adopted for advanced wound care, primarily for burns, necrotic wounds, and to fill cavities. Hydrogels are limited to external wounds given their lack of shear strength (ability of a hydrogel to maintain its form after injection), and other complications like unwanted in vivo responses. The use of hydrogels is limited in drug delivery for the same reasons. The technology described here has the potential to overcome these strength limitations, while retaining the positive features of a protein hydrogel.



  • Advanced drug delivery and wound care (including timed delivery and internal wound dressing)
  • Tissue engineering (including joint reconstruction and prosthetics)
  • Protein diagnostics 


  • Injectable
  • Uses protein crosslink for mechanical and thermal stability
  • Does not provoke a negative response to in vivo use
  • Self-assembles after injection
  • Reinforces rupture force controls erosion to enable long term use in vivo
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Jace Langen
Licensing Manager
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Minkyu Kim
David Knoff