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Selective Polymer Microparticles for Delivering Viable Bacteria/Microorganisms

Prof. Peter Lieberzeit, University of Vienna, Dept. of Physical Chemistry; Prof. Alexander Bismarck, University of Vienna, Dept. of Materials Chemistry and Research; Julia Perko, University of Vienna, Dept. of Physical Chemistry; Martin Werner, University of Vienna, Dept. of Physical Chemistry

University of Vienna


Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) is a recommended treatment strategy for infectious diseases and irritable bowel syndrome. Current methods for transplanting the stool of a healthy individual to a patient involves nasojejunal tubes, colonoscopy or an orally administered encapsulated product, which is unappealing for patients. Therefore, patience acceptance of FMT needs to be improved. This issue is addressed by the presented technology that is supplying patients with living microorganism using “clean” pharmaceutical produced polymer microparticles for delivery of bacteria.


Bacteria imprinted polymer microspheres are produced via Pickering emulsion under retention of bacteria viability. Any hospital working with digestion-related diseases could take advantage of this technology.

Commercial Opportunity

Bacteria loaded microparticles can be used in following conditions: Irritable bowel syndrome which affects up to 50 % of patients visiting a gastroenterologist. Prebiotics supplementation is commonly recommended upon antibiotic treatment. Further infectious diseases, such as potentially life-threatening infection with Clostridium difficile, can be targeted.

Development Status

in vitro

Patent Situation

European patent application filed 06/06/2019

(EP3747987A published 09/12/2020), PCT filed 05/06/2020

Further Reading

[1] X. Shen et al., “Bacterial imprinting at pickering emulsion interfaces,” Angew. Chemie - Int. Ed., vol. 53, no. 40, pp. 10687–10690, 2014.

[2] J. van Wijk, T. Heunis, E. Harmzen, L. M. T. Dicks, J. Meuldijk, and B. Klumperman, “Compartmentalization of bacteria in microcapsules,” Chem. Commun., vol. 50, no. 97, pp. 15427–15430, 2014.

[3] S. Han, S. Shannahan, and R. Pellish, “Fecal microbiota transplant: Treatment options for clostridium difficile infection in the intensive care unit,” J. Intensive Care Med., vol. 31, no. 9, pp. 577–586, 2016.

[4] P. Moayyedi, J. K. Marshall, Y. Yuan, and R. Hunt, “Canadian Association of Gastroenterology position statement: Fecal microbiota transplant therapy,” Can. J. Gastroenterol. Hepatol., vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 66–68, 2014.

[5] S. D. Goldenberg et al., “Comparison of Different Strategies for Providing Fecal Microbiota Transplantation to Treat Patients with Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection in Two English Hospitals: A Review,” Infect. Dis. Ther., vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 71–86, 2018.


Selective Polymer Microparticles for Delivering Viable Bacteria/Microorganisms