Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Porous Materials with High Surface Area

Technology #2150-1

UM File # 2150.1

Background
Membranes have been typically used for filtration, reverse osmosis (hyperfiltration), dialysis, pervaporation, and gas separation applications. A solid membrane can be made of synthetic polymers, natural macromolecules, inorganic compounds, ceramic or metallic materials, and are generally fabricated through sintering, stretching, extrusion, phase inversion and etching, or casting. Porous membranes are advantageous in their low resistance to mass transfer of solutes due to the increased permeation rate from the pores. Therefore, porous membranes have been employed for various applications including separation of mixtures of proteins and macromolecules, salt concentration, and sterilization. They can also serve as 3-D matrices for chemical and biochemical mass exchange or reactions to take place, or for cells or other living organisms to grow, and have wider applications.
Technology Description
This invention builds on UM file number 2150 and describes the compositions and methods for fabricating polymers into porous materials with very high specific surface areas. It adds the aspect of creating substantially solvent free porous structures with a porosity of greater than 80% and large pore size while maintaining mechanical strength. These materials have increased ability to transport materials, especially particulate or those that contain particles. Please see UM File # 2150.
Applications • Scaffolding materials for tissue regeneration • Medical devices (e.g., artificial kidneys) • Bioreactors • Controlled release devices • Wound dressings • Matrix materials for chemical reactors • Separation membranes, filters, catalysissystems
Advantages • Wide range of building blocks: homopolymers,copolymers, random or block or graft • Possibility to incorporate non-polymericmaterials, additives • Ability to physically, chemically, orbiologically modify functions and properties(pre- or post-fabrication)