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Media Contacts:
Dr. Jonathan S. Lindsey, Chemistry, 919/515-6406
Dr. Harold Freeman, Textiles, 919/515-6552

March 1, 2004

Kimberly-Clark Technology Boosts NC State Chemistry Research


Textile chemists and organic chemists at North Carolina State University will benefit from technology and patents donated in January by Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc. The contributions will be acknowledged in a ceremony on Friday, March 5, at the College of Textiles on Centennial Campus.

The technology and patents will go to the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science in the College of Textiles and the Department of Chemistry in the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. Researchers there will receive porphyrin synthesis technology with two U.S. patents, and subphthalocyanine synthesis technology with another U.S. patent. Both gifts come with Kimberly-Clark’s internal research records, research samples and technical assistance.

Dr. John Gilligan, vice chancellor for research and graduate studies at NC State, welcomed the technology donations. “These generous contributions by Kimberly-Clark will help create research opportunities for faculty and students in two of our research-extensive colleges,” he said. “We look forward to developing useful applications for this patented technology.”

Porphyrins are naturally occurring compounds, most notably chlorophyll, and synthesizing derivatives for textiles and medical applications is difficult. The Kimberly-Clark technology significantly improves this process, creating possibilities for commercial applications. Similarly, the company’s donated technology allows faster, more economical synthesis of subphthalocyanine compounds, which are of special interest to materials chemistry scientists.

Dr. Jonathan S. Lindsey, Glaxo Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry at NC State, describes the importance of the donated technology as “a significant contribution to our ongoing study of compounds for molecular information storage.”

Dr. Harold Freeman, associate head of the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science, said the patented technology will advance and complement studies now under way in his department. “The donation of this exciting technology gives our research a key boost by opening avenues for faculty and students to further expand interfaces between traditional textiles and digital and medical technologies,” he said.

Cheryl A. Perkins, senior vice president and chief technical officer at Kimberly-Clark, said, “These organic synthesis technologies were originally developed within the corporation, but our strategic direction has changed and the technologies were not being leveraged in commercial applications. We are pleased that the chemistry will now be used in high-end technology and medical fields.”

“We are delighted to have found an institution that has three research programs planned for further development and potential commercialization of these two technologies,” said Dr. Corinne Sukiennik, director of Kimberly-Clark’s global technology transfer department. “Clearly these chemistries complement the research strategies and new business initiatives of both the College of Textiles and the Department of Chemistry.”

Kimberly-Clark Worldwide is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kimberly-Clark Corp., a leading global consumer-products company. Its tissue, personal-care and health-care products are manufactured in 42 countries and sold in more than 150 countries.



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