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SBIR Phase I:Fully Bio-Based High-Performance Biomimetic Material for Sustainable Fabric

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2233212
Agency Tracking Number: 2233212
Amount: $275,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: CT
Solicitation Number: NSF 22-551
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-09-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-08-31
Small Business Information
123 White Flower
Irvine, CA 92603
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Ella Csuka
 (949) 648-3437
Business Contact
 Ella Csuka
Phone: (949) 648-3437
Research Institution

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project is to develop a sustainable, scalable, and high-performance alternative to natural leather fabric. Leather is one of the most widely used fabric materials in the world, with over two billion square yards produced through animal agriculture every year. The production of animal-derived leather emits greenhouse gases and pollution from the toxic chemicals used to process, tan, and dye animal hides. Current synthetic alternatives are made of non-renewable polymers such as polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride, contributing to petrochemical consumption and plastic pollution. This project aims to develop an alternative leather material that is 100% bio-based and environmentally friendly, and that meets industry requirements for mechanical, physical, and aesthetic properties. By engineering composite materials with superior performance and quality, this technology has the potential to reduce the environmental impact of leather-utilizing industries such as fashion apparel, footwear, furniture, and automotives._x000D_
This SBIR Phase I project proposes to use a biomimetic approach to developing high-performance materials that replicate the collagen microstructure and properties of natural leather. Current synthetic alternatives contain petroleum-derived binding or coating agents. This project aims to meet objectives to 1) develop novel compositional and processing methods to produce 100% bio-based crosslinked materials, 2) systematically characterize the mechanical, physical, and surface properties to evaluate performance features, and 3) demonstrate reproducibility and tunability in alignment with industry metrics. The proposed technology leverages innovation in chemical crosslinking to produce high-strength, ultra-durable, soft-to-the-touch materials for the next generation of sustainable fabrics._x000D_
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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