Advancements in nanotechnology and what it means for the industry

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Advancements in nanotechnology and what it means for the industry

Related tags Nanotechnology Medicine

Nano particles are widely used in the cosmetics and personal care industry, particularly in the sunscreen and anti-aging categories. Here, we take note of major scientific advancements in this area in 2016.

In March, researchers at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Science published their work in Wiley’s journal of Microscopy Research and Technique, documenting a faster and more cost-effective method to conduct toxicology studies​ and other nanovisualization work. 

To date, the gold standard for visualization of nanoparticles in tissue samples is electron microscopy, which is highly time- and resource-intensive, yet these scientists have hit upon an alternative to electron microscopy.

That article outlined how enhanced darkfield microscopy (EDFM) and hyperspectral imaging (HSI) can be used to see nanoparticles distributed in tissue samples.

Elsewhere, new research came to light that could optimize the manner in which liquid formulations dry,​ enhancing both the application and efficacy of sunscreens and other beauty products.

Researchers at the University of Surrey, England, and Université Claude Bernard, France have been investigating how liquid formulations dry on a nano level, and they say their findings could have implications for a wide range of liquid-based products, including many in the beauty industry.

According to the scientists, the discovery could be used to formulate products with dual actions, and in skin care products, this could point to formulations with barrier protection, alongside other skin care properties.

Next, Ohio State University researchers revealed they had discovered the potential nanoparticles in the roots of the English Ivy plant have as a UV protectant​.

The glue-like substance that binds the plant to trees, fences and walls is mostly round nanoparticles called arabinogalactan proteins or AGPs.

The team is optimistic their work will further human understanding of botanic adhesives and will have commercial potential for artificial adhesives for military, medical and cosmetic applications.

Finally, scientists at ETH Zurich, the city’s university for science, tech, engineering announced they had created a new nanocapsule that’s hydrophobic inside and hydrophilic outside.

Carbon nanocapsules are of interest in the beauty and medical industries because they are biocompatible and inert.

The team reports that previous versions however have been too small or too porous to use as a delivery mechanism. 

The published abstract describes in broad strokes how to make the thin-walled hollow carbon nanospheres: “First, metal nanoparticles, coated with a few layers of graphene-like carbon, are selectively modified on the outside with a covalently attached hydrophilic polymer.”

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