Advancing dry water science means more cosmetics formulations

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cosmetics, Surface tension

researcher Ana Margarida Fernandes
researcher Ana Margarida Fernandes
Ana Margarida Fernandes has completed research on the creation of stable liquid marbles that comprise water draped in flocculated polymer latexes and stabilized with polyionic liquids.

This latest improvement in dry water science is a simplified method for developing liquid marbles, which industries ranging from agriculture and food to cosmetics and personal care already make good use of.

Formulation technologies
Dry water, also known as liquid marbles, is used in personal care products to deliver moisture or submerged ingredients to the skin.

“Thanks to liquid marbles, the water can be manipulated the as if it were solid….and at the same time enable developing various cosmetic applications for cutaneous treatment, such as skin moisteners, etc.,”​ quotes Fernandes as saying.

“In fact, in the area of care products, there are a number of multinationals in the world of cosmetics that have already marketed products inspired in this compound,”​ she confirmed. 

Less time, less money
Fernandes, a researcher at the University of the Basque Country, recently published her work in the scientific journal Polymer. That research is expected to culminate in less expensive and more rapid strategies for making liquid marbles.

“The aim of the research is to better understand the behaviour of this compound, in order to make advances in the use of cheaper materials, such as polystyrene; to date, much more expensive silicon nanoparticles have been employed,”​ wrote Komunikazio Bulegoa in the article. 

The method Fernandes is working with is less complex than other dry water science:  “After simple filtration and drying processes, the flocculated latexes [obtained in the lab] led to hydrophobic powders with similar micrograin size compared to the original latexes​,” explains Fernandes in the abstract of her journal article.

Then, “very stable ‘liquid marbles’ were prepared by gently shaking water droplets of different volumes onto the hydrophobic powders. The morphology and stability of the liquid marbles were characterized by optical and confocal microscopy,”​ she wrote.

Advancing nanotechnology
Dry water was first patented in 1968. And the baseline function of the compositions hasn’t changed much. “This invention is concerned with a method of providing products which possess the superficial appearance, bulk and flow properties of ultar-fine particulate solids but are actually composed by weight predominantly of liquid water,”​ reads the original text of patent US3393155 A.

What we now know as “liquid marbles were discovered by two French scientists, Pascale Aussillous and David Quéré in 2001,” according to Catherine Whitby, senior research fellow at the Ian Wark Research Institute at University of South Australia, and her post about dry water​ and cosmetics.

Since then, advances in the nanotechnologies that produce liquid marbles have come from scientists like Karn Hapgood, Rossen Sedev and Whitby herself, among others.

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