Research into nano polymers could help fight wrinkles
University into how nanoparticles can help prevent wrinkling and
buckling in polymer films, could also be applied to skin wrinkles,
scientists have revealed.
A study headed up by Ilsoon Lee at the university's department of chemical engineering and materials science has shown for the first time how the incorporation of nanoparticles into polymer films can help to avoid buckling because it brings about great flexibility.
Likewise, Ilsoon, who was assisted by Ph.D. student Troy Hendricks, believes this same principle can be translated into applications for the human skin, and believes that this could be a new area for the research to move into.
Funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corp and the National Science Foundation, the study findings were published in the American Chemical Society's Nano Letters, December 2006 edition.
Ilsoon believes the nanoparticle principle he has discovered for polymer films, which involves using nanoparticles of 50nm between the films to smooth out small buckles and wrinkles, could be applied to new cosmetic procedures.
The research involved the creation of buckled morphologies by thermally cycling or mechanically compressing a poly substrate coated with a polyelectrolyte multilayer film.
By variation of the dimensions of the surface topography relative to the buckling wavelength, the researchers said that the orientation and the local morphology of the buckled films were controlled.
"On the basis of the information obtained, we demonstrate how to alleviate the unavoidable buckling by incorporating nanoparticles into the film," Ilsoon said.
In applying this principle to cosmetics procedures, Ilsoon believes the technology would be most likely to give way to film 'implants' in areas of the face prone to wrinkling, primarily around the eyes and the forehead.
In a treatment that could prove similar to Botox, such implants could help to smooth out the skin, as well as avoiding further wrinkling and damage in areas of the face where facial expression leads to wrinkles.
A number of skin care formulations incorporating nano particles or nano technology have already been launched on to the market. Such formulations are said to have enhanced efficacy because of an improved ability to deliver active ingredients into the skin's dermal layer.