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Mexican company looks to build on nanotech TiO2 sunscreen technology

By Andrew McDougall+

22-May-2014
Last updated the 22-May-2014 at 17:47 GMT

Mexican firm Nanomateriales has developed a cosmetic sunscreen based on titanium dioxide nanoparticles, which can reduce the effects of UVA/UVB rays, related to skin deterioration.

Led by principal scientist Joel Antonio Gutierrez, the innovation develops a technique to disperse the particles (5-10 nanometers in size) to avoid agglomeration.

The result of the Mexican firm’s research and development is the application of nanoparticles of titanium dioxide (TiO2) as sunscreens, which Gutierrez says are already sold in Mexico, USA and South America.

Developments

Nanomateriales is responsible for developing nanotechnology solutions for various sectors, meaning that its research does not focus on a single article, but in applications that give added value to different products, and thus provide customers with a more competitive and diverse market.

To make these developments, such as the cosmetic sunscreens, a high-tech dispersion physicochemical process was designed, which ensures that the nanoparticles remain stable in the formulation of the final product.

According to Gutierrez, the advantage in the cosmetic formula is that using titanium dioxide nanoparticles increases the photo protective efficacy, since it has been demonstrated that the lower the particle size the better the protective UV efficiency.

Looking ahead

In addition to the cosmetic industry, the company seeks to implement the nanoparticles on other products because it improves resistance to environmental exposure. However, so far it has only been marketed in sunscreens.

For Antonio Gutiérrez, the commitment to nanotechnology is because it represents over 50 billion dollars in the worldwide market, therefore he expects Nanomateriales to continue with developments for various sectors.

The Mexican company has four years in operation and has seen relative success in the cosmetics market, but Gutierrez expects tough challenges ahead. "This industry, like few others, requires highly skilled and specific technology for its production," he says.

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