New forms for controlled drug release composed by proteic hydrogel crystals

Summary of the technology

Scientists from the University of Granada in collaboration with the Spanish National Reseach Cuncil (CSIC) have developed a procedure for fabricating a composition made with a hydrogel that contains crystalized proteins with pharmacological activity with a medium size of 12 microns, that can be even smaller up to 5 microns.

The group has focused their work with insulin, though other proteins with therapeutic interest can be used. In any case, the crystalized proteins with pharmacological activity grow in situ inside de hydrogel.

Details of the Technology Offer


The group has focused their research work with insulin, being able to generate injectable compounds that contain insulin mycrocrystals obtained in media with biocompatible hydrogels and biodegradable, elaborated from agarose and dialanine. The technology can be used with other proteins with therapeutic interest, such as for example recombinant albumin and alkaline phosphatase.

A number of in vivo studies have been carried out Wistar male rats, since they show a low specifity for insulin of other species, using then two types of insulin, one made with agarose gel and the other with dialanine gel.

The rats which were administered the agarose preparation showed an identical absorption profile as the reference sample of insulin, which indicates a similar absorption kinetic.

On the other hand, the rats which were administered the dialanine preparation showed a lower absorption profile, since the insulin levels in blood remained constant.

This innovation has been made with the support of “Obra social la Caixa, through the Caixaimpulse program, a program of Obra Social La Caixa, co-organized with Caixa Capital Risk”. More information available in the next link:

Advantages and Benefits

  • The new protein  compounds show a better controlled release and high stability
  • Lower costs compared with the current systems
  • The gel and crystals combination will allow to develop different administration profiles with the same formulation of insulin, since the absorption kinetics are different depending on the gel used
  • The mixture can be kept at low temperatures, even showing in situ crystal growing
  • No acetone is used in the composition

Current development status

Experimental technologies



Intellectual property status

  • Patent already applied for
  • Patent application number :P201630584
  • Patent already applied for
  • Patent application number :P201630584

Related Keywords

  • Biological Sciences
  • Medicine, Human Health
  • Pharmaceutical Products / Drugs
  • pharmacology
  • protein crystallization

About University of Granada (OTRI)

The mission of the Research Results Transfer Office (OTRI, for its initials in Spanish) of the University of Granada (UGR) is to identify and valorize R&D results for their commercialization by industry and entities worldwide.
The OTRI is integrated into the Vice-Rector’s Office for Research and Technology Transfer, which activities are aimed at:

• UGR researchers for the valorization of their knowledge in the socio-economic environment;
• Companies, by building strategic bonds with the university to improve their competitiveness;
• Entrepreneurs of the academic community for the setting up of spin-off companies.

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