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Formaldehyde-free eyelash glue developed from mussel adhesive protein

By Katie Nichol , 27-Oct-2009

An agreement between Kollodis BioSciences and Korean-based cosmetics provider, Lifeace, will develop and commercialize the use of recombinant mussel adhesive protein (MAP) compositions in cosmetic glues.

The MAP based bioadhesive formulation offers a non-toxic, irritant-free alternative to the use of formaldehyde in eyelash glue applications, Dr Scarmoutzos, President and CEO of Kollodis BioSciences, told CosmeticsDesign.

Formaldehyde is added as a preservative to cosmetic adhesives, and although approved for use in such products, it may cause contact dermatitis in people with sensitive skin.

Despite the use of formaldehyde in cosmetic glues being regulated, Dr Scarmoutzos believes some products may contain higher levels than allowed.

“Most government agencies regulate the level of formaldehyde exposure in humans (currently at about a 20 ppm upper limit). But that hasn't stopped some unscrupulous distributors and marketers of (eyelash glue) products containing illegally high levels of toxic formaldehyde.”

Mussel adhesive protein is a unique compound found in the sticky glue secreted by the foot of the common mussel that anchors it to rocks and other objects. Kollodis’ proprietary recombinant adhesive protein, a core ingredient in its compositions, is derived from the Mediterranean mussel.

According to Kollodis, mussel adhesive proteins have long been recognized as being biocompatible, environmentally friendly, and effective bioadhesives for a wide variety of applications including consumer and cosmetic applications.

Dr Scarmoutzos said that although several other companies offer mussel adhesive protein products, he believes Kollodis to be the first company to use MAP technology in cosmetic glues.

In accordance with the agreement, Lifeace will fund the development and commercialization of cosmetic glue products which use Kollodis’ proprietary MAP technology.

The company will also acquire the intellectual property for formaldehyde-free eyelash glue applications as well as options to acquire additional products that are developed as a result of the collaboration.

Discussing alternative uses of the mussel adhesive proteins, Dr Scarmoutzos said that several potential applications are being considered, including an anti-acne facial mask.

“Our mussel adhesive protein has shown excellent antimicrobial activity when recombinantly coupled with antimicrobial peptides. We have an anti-acne peptide candidate which we plan to further develop for this application,” he said.

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