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The authors acknowledge funding from the National Scienze Foundation.

Responding to an urgent need for better antibacterial coatings on surgical sutures, scientists are reporting the discovery of a new coating that is almost 1,000 times more effective than the most widely used commercial coating. Their report appears in ACS’ journal Langmuir.
Professor Gregory Tew, who is from UMass-Amherst, and colleagues explain that infection at the site of surgical incisions is one of the most common post-surgical complications that keep patients hospitalized longer and boost hospital bills. The most common antibiotic coating contains triclosan, but its use in many consumer products over the years has led to the emergence of strains of bacteria that shrug off its effects. Triclosan also can be absorbed into the body, raising concerns about possible adverse health effects. Another downside to triclosan: It slows the growth of bacteria, but does not actually kill those already present. That’s why the scientists turned to PAMBM, a new substance designed from naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides that can kill a wide range of bacteria. And because of the way it works, PAMBM has a very low chance of causing bacterial resistance and the emergence of so-called superbugs.
The report described laboratory tests in which PAMBM greatly reduced the amount of bacteria compared to triclosan. In a head-to-head test with triclosan-coated sutures, those coated with PAMBM were much more effective against bacteria. “As bacterial resistance to current agents continues to increase and with resistance to triclosan now documented, the discovery of new antimicrobial agents that remain active in biomedical device coatings is essential,” say the researchers.
The authors acknowledge funding from the National Science Foundation.
“New Bactericidal Surgical Suture Coating”, Langmuir, 2012, Vol. 28, pp 12134–12139


New era in camouflage makeup

Camouflage face makeup for warfare is undergoing one of the most fundamental changes in thousands of years, as scientists today described a new face paint that both hides soldiers from the enemy and shields their faces from the searing heat of bomb blasts. Firefighters also could benefit from the new heat-resistant makeup, according to the report.
It was part of a broader symposium on innovations in ingredients for personal care products held during the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society. The meeting, which includes almost 8,600 reports on new discoveries in science and other topics, continues through Thursday. The other reports (abstracts appear below) included new hairsprays, mousses, denture adhesives, tartar-control toothpastes, mouthwashes and personal cleansing products.
Robert Lochhead, Ph.D., who presented the report, explained that soldiers have used face paint for centuries for one kind of protection ? to help their skin blend in with the natural environment and shield them from enemies. The new material continues that tradition, but also provides protection from the searing heat of roadside bomb blasts and other explosions that have claimed a terrible toll in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts.
“The detonation of a roadside bomb or any other powerful explosive produces two dangerous blasts,” Lochhead said. “First comes a blast wave of high pressure that spreads out at supersonic speeds and can cause devastating internal injuries. A thermal blast follows almost instantaneously. It is a wave of heat that exceeds 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s as hot as a burning cigarette. The thermal blast lasts only two seconds, but it can literally cook the face, hands and other exposed skin.”
In an effort to protect soldiers from this threat, the U.S. Department of Defense has been seeking a solution that Lochhead initially regarded as an impossibility: A material that soldiers could smear on their faces like suntan lotion, leaving a coating that although thinner than a sheet of paper, could protect against that intense heat. Dr. Paige Buchanan, Kelli Booth, Michelle McClusky, Laura Anderson and Lochhead were the team that tackled the challenge. Not only did they succeed, but they discovered a formulation that protects in laboratory experiments way beyond the 2-second heat-wave threat from improvised explosive devices and other bombs.
The new camouflage makeup protects the face and hands for up to 15 seconds before its own temperature rises to the point where a first-degree burn, which is a mild burn, might occur. In some tests, the new face paint can protect for up to 60 seconds, which could be important in giving soldiers time to move away from blast-related fires and also for use by civilian firefighters.
The makeup had to meet several key criteria: It had to reflect intense heat; have camouflage colors suitable for day and night use; be easy to apply and remove; be waterproof; and be non-irritating to the eyes, nose and mouth.
The trickiest part was that the University of Southern Mississippi team had to avoid the use of mineral oil, mineral spirits, fatty substances and other traditional hydrocarbon makeup ingredients. Hydrocarbons can burn in contact with intense heat in the flame spectrum. The team turned to silicones, which are not as flammable because they absorb radiation at wavelengths outside of the intense heat spectrum. Silicones have been replacing hydrocarbons in many commercial cosmetic makeup products as cosmetics companies improve products to confer better feel properties and transfer-resistance.
Another challenge was adding DEET, an insect repellent. The military mandates that all camouflage makeups contain 35 percent DEET. “DEET also is flammable, so when the Department of Defense asked us to incorporate it, we didn’t think we could do it,” Lochhead noted. But the team successfully included DEET by encapsulating it in a hydrogel substance, a water-rich material that prevented DEET from catching fire.
It already has passed the preliminary laboratory tests needed to determine whether development should continue. Lochhead’s team also plans tests of the material on other surfaces to try to protect clothing, tents and other items from burning, and a colorless version is being developed for firefighters.
This research was presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.


Pathway describes how alpha hydroxyl acids cause skin exfoliation
A team of investigators from UC Davis and Peking University have discovered a mechanism that may explain how alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) -- the key ingredient in cosmetic chemical peels and wrinkle-reducing creams -- work to enhance skin appearance. An understanding of the underlying process may lead to better cosmetic formulations as well as have medical applications.
The findings were published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry in an article entitled "Intracellular proton-mediated activation of TRPV3 channels accounts for exfoliation effect of alpha hydroxyl acids on keratinocytes."
AHAs are a group of weak acids typically derived from natural sources such as sugar cane, sour milk, apples and citrus that are well known in the cosmetics industry for their ability to enhance the appearance and texture of skin. Before this research, little was known about how AHAs actually caused skin to flake off and expose fresh, underlying skin.
The cellular pathway the research team studied focuses on an ion channel -- known as transient receptor potential vanilloid 3 (TRPV3) -- located in the cell membrane of keratinocytes, the predominant cell type in the outer layer of skin. The channel is known from other studies to play an important role in normal skin physiology and temperature sensitivity.
In a series of experiments that involved recording electrical currents across cultured cells exposed to AHAs, the investigators developed a model that describes how glycolic acid (the smallest and most biologically available AHA) enters into keratinocytes and generates free protons, creating acidic conditions within the cell. The low pH strongly activates the TRPV3 ion channel, opening it and allowing calcium ions to flow into the cell. Because more protons also enter through the open TRPV3 channel, the process feeds on itself. The resulting calcium ion overload in the cell leads to its death and skin exfoliation.
"Our experiments are the first to show that the TRPV3 ion channel is likely to be the target of the most effective skin enhancer in the cosmetics industry," said Jie Zheng, professor of physiology and membrane biology at UC Davis and one of the principal investigators of the study. "Although AHAs have been used for years, no one until now understood their likely mechanism of action."
Besides being found in skin cells, TRPV3 also is found in cells in many areas of the nervous system and is sensitive to temperature as well as acidity. The authors speculate that the channel may have a variety of important physiological functions, including pain control.
Lead author Xu Cao, who conducted the study with UC Davis scientists as a visiting student from Peking University Health Science Center, focuses on TRPV3 channel research. With a team of researchers in China, he recently contributed to the discovery that a mutation in TRPV3 leads to Olmsted syndrome, a rare congenital disorder characterized by severe itching and horny skin development over the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. While in the UC Davis Department of Physiology and Membrane Biology, Cao discovered that AHAs also utilize the TRPV3 channel.
"Calcium channels are becoming increasingly recognized as having vital functions in skin physiology," said Cao. "TRPV3 has the potential to become an important target not only for the cosmetics industry but for analgesia and treating skin disease."
The other study author and co-principal investigator is KeWei Wang of Peking University School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, where the research was conducted.
“Intracellular proton-mediated activation of TRPV3 channels accounts for exfoliation effect of alpha hydroxyl acids on keratinocytes” J. Biol. Chem. 2012, Vol. 287, pp. 25905-25916


Advance could mean

Scientists are reporting development and successful testing of a way to reuse — hundreds of times — the expensive, dirt-busting enzymes that boost the cleaning power of laundry detergents and powdered bleaches that now disappear down the drain. The discovery, reported in the ACS journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, opens the door to new laundry products, like special scrub brushes or reusable enzyme-coated plastic flakes and strips that might be added to cheaper detergents and then saved for reuse.
C.S. Pundir and Nidhi Chauhan explain that the most effective laundry detergents on the market today contain enzymes, such as amylase, cellulase, protease and lipase. The enzymes break down starches, mud, proteins, and fats and oils in stains into smaller, more water-soluble pieces that are easily removed from garments. Enzymatic detergents (which make up over half the market) work well, but they are expensive compared with regular detergents. And although the enzymes are still active after a washing cycle, they get rinsed down the drain. In previous research, the scientists showed it was possible to attach individual enzymes to various surfaces in previous studies so they could be reused. Now, for the first time, the researchers bound all four enzymes onto a plastic surface.
They adhered all four enzymes to the inside surface of a plastic (PVC) bucket and to the PVC bristles of a scrub brush. Then they washed white cotton cloths with starch, grass, egg or mustard oil stains in the bucket or with the brush. Less expensive, non-enzyme laundry detergents, used in the bucket or with the scrub brush, cleaned just as well or better than using the pricey enzymatic detergent by itself. The PVC-attached enzymes remained active when used as many as 200 times over three months. The new method "makes cheaper detergents better than expensive detergents for washing purposes," say the researchers.
“Coimmobilization of detergent enzymes onto a plastic bucket and brush for their application in cloth washing” Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2012, Vol. 51, pp 3556–3563


New oil spill dispersant

With concerns about the possible health and environmental effects of oil dispersants in the Deepwater Horizon disaster still fresh in mind, scientists today described a new dispersant made from edible ingredients that both breaks up oil slicks and keeps oil from sticking to the feathers of birds.
"Each of the ingredients in our dispersant is used in common food products like peanut butter, chocolate and whipped cream," said Lisa K. Kemp, Ph.D. She reported on the dispersant at the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, being held here this week.
"Other scientists are working on new oil dispersants and absorbents, but nothing that's quite like ours. It not only breaks up oil but prevents the deposition of oil on birds and other objects, like the ingredients in laundry detergent keep grease from redepositing on clothing in the rinse cycle. Birds can sit in slicks of the dispersed oil, they can dive through it and take off and flap their wings, and the oil will fall off."
Kemp's colleague, Robert Lochhead, Ph.D., developed the concept for the new dispersant, and the research team now has moved the material from concept to a prototype dispersant suitable for testing on actual oil spills. The team, which also includes Drs. Sarah Morgan, Dan Savin and Les Goff, is at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.
Lochhead said the new dispersant is based on scientific principles established decades ago during the development of modern laundry detergents. One ingredient, for instance, is a special polymer that sticks to the surface of oil droplets to keep them from sticking to the feathers of sea birds. Similar polymers in laundry detergents keep oil and grease removed during the wash cycle from getting back on clothing during the rinse cycle.
That feature in the new dispersant would be critical for minimizing damage to wildlife and beaches, Kemp noted. When detergents are used to remove oil that has coated fur or feathers, it defeats their natural waterproofing effect, leaving birds less buoyant and more susceptible to hypothermia. Birds can also eat the oil as they try to clean themselves, causing internal damage. By some estimates, almost 225,000 birds died in this way after being covered in oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill off the coast of Alaska.
Another important advantage, Kemp noted, is the ease of quickly obtaining large amounts of ingredients, even ton quantities, for making the dispersant at reasonable cost. She envisioned agencies like the U.S. Coast Guard keeping small amounts on hand for first response, with larger quantities being quickly made as necessary.
With funding from the National Science Foundation (IIP-1127846), Kemp helped the group move from the prototype they had developed in the lab to a version that would be ready to be tested and approved for use with future oil spills. The group used a robotic device to quickly screen thousands of possible combinations until they settled on a winning formula. The team had support from large chemical manufacturers, including The Dow Chemical Company, Archer Daniels Midland Company and Croda International for ingredient selection and supply. In order to move to commercialization of this technology, it will now be necessary to seek partners and end-use customers with interest in testing the product.


Evocutis plc has launched LabSkin™ full thickness human skin equivalent model. It is unique human skin model comprised of both dermal and epidermal layers constructed from primary human cells (keratinocytes & fibroblasts). LabSkin™ exhibits a fully differentiated epidermal layer, which provides a completely dry surface for product testing. The robust nature of LabSkin™ enables transverse-sectioning and therefore molecular and histological analysis of the effects of cosmetic and pharmaceutical products on the human skin model at a cellular level.


Shandong Topscience Biotech had a positive experience at PCHi 2012, the company secured its space for the next edition before the end of the three-day event. Lilly Wang from STB’s Marketing Department commented: “We were able to gain greater visibility […] This customer-centric approach, coupled with fruitful time at PCHi 2012, led us to book our booth for PCHi 2013 early in order to guarantee a prime position”.


X-Rite has introduced the RM200QC handheld spectrocolorimeter to give companies an inexpensive yet powerful way to record and communicate colour differences to speed introduction of new products and reduce instances of scrap. The hand-held RM200QC simplifies how textile, coatings, chemicals, plastic molding and other industries can compare the colours of lab samples or parts in production with reference standards, then create reports that can be shared with supply chain partners.


DKSH’s Business Unit Performance Materials has started a strategic partnership with WACKER. DKSH will market WACKER’s Biosolutions products: fermenter cysteine and bioengineered cyclodextrins, which are premium sugar compounds marketed under the CAVASOL® and CAVAMAX® trademarks. The new regional agreement covers the whole of South East Asia, Greater China and parts of the India subcontinent, specifically India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.


IMCD Group is pleased to announce a new partnership with AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry for the distribution of their Surfactant product range in France, United Kingdom and Ireland. Marcus Jordan, IMCD Group Development Director refers: “We are delighted to partner with AkzoNobel for this leading and exciting product range […] The range further strengthens IMCD’s offering in a number of focused market segments and brings advantages to our customers, both in terms of logistical and product benefits”.


Lipo announces the addition of 4 new products to our line. Products formerly sold under the trade name Biocare Polymers, which were offered by Dow Chemical Co., will now be distributed globally by Lipo®. These chemicals will be marketed under the new trade names: BIOPOLYMER HA-24; BIOPOLYMER HA-24 BIO; BIOPOLYMER BHA-10; BIOPOLYMER SA-N.


Unipex Group, a leading global manufacturer and distributor of natural active ingredients and specialty chemicals for the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, nutrition and industrial sectors, is pleased to announce that it has new ownership in place. AXA Private Equity has signed an agreement for the sale of 100 percent of its interest in Unipex Group to the IK2007 Fund advised by IK Investment Partners.


LANXESS is announcing a new mid-term goal for its leading earnings indicator – EBITDA pre exceptionals – of EUR 1.8 billion in 2018. The specialty chemicals company is strategically well-positioned to continue on its established growth path and plans to achieve its previously established goal of EUR 1.4 billion EBITDA pre exceptionals in 2014, a year ahead of schedule.

Naturex acquires Decas Botanical Synergies, the US expert in cranberry-derived ingredients for the Nutrition and Health industry. Decas Botanical Synergies is specialized in Cranberry extracts and powders for the nutraceuticals (tablets, capsules, soft gels, soft chews etc.). Cultivated in North America, the Cranberry is increasingly popular as it is well-known for its ability to reduce Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).


L'Occitane has launched a fund to create bacterium resistant varieties of lavender. The main product ranges of the company is based on lavender and the group has been confronted by the problem of bacterial infestation of major areas of lavender production in the region.


LuroMed, LLC has announced that it has appointed Lipo as worldwide distributor of the Biopolymer line of personal care products. LuroMed, LLC develops and commercializes proprietary polymer technology for use in topical skin care and in medical applications. Lipo is headquartered in Paterson, NJ and has offices in 12 countries, and a distribution network covering five continents and over 60 countries.


TEGO® Airex 921 has been designed specifically for UV-curable printing inks and coatings for food packaging. The silicone-free product consists completely of raw materials compliant with the A list of Swiss Ordinance SR 817.023.21, Annex 6. TEGO® Airex 921 contains 100 percent active matter, is free of organic solvents and made of approximately 60 percent renewable resources.


Stefano Togni, Business Development, Head of Personal Care Indena, said: “We are glad to work together with DKSH, a company with a well-established infrastructure and capillary distribution network throughout Asia, and an in-depth personal care market expertise. This partnership is a further expansion of our existing collaboration with DKSH […] we expect to consolidate and broaden our customer’s portfolio in China”.


Sugar is anything but a harmless indulgence since the consumption of too much glucose and fructose may lead to dental diseases, weight problems, obesity and various metabolic diseases. Dr. Weiler Aromatic Toothpaste makes it easier for users to forego sweets. The toothpaste contains natural and nature identical aromas whose impact unfolds during the tooth-brushing process to considerably reduce these cravings.


Iso-SlimComplex is both a slimming and anti-cellulite ingredient based on genistein, the biologically active form of the most abundant soy isoflavone. Genistein is a powerful anti-cellulite ingredient: it inhibits the formation of new adipocytes (cells specialized for fat storage), promotes the fat breakdown and also strongly improves skin strength, firmness and smoothness. Studies showed that Iso-SlimComplex inhibits the differentiation of pre-adipocytes into adipocytes and that the production of collagen IV is stimulated.


The Active Chemicals business segment of Innospec has changed its name into Performance Chemicals. Patrick Williams, Innospec president and ceo, refers: “This business segment name was confusing for our customers and did not accurately reflect the products manufactured and sold by this business. Active Chemicals has a specific meaning in several of our industry sectors and we have therefore decided to make this change”.


DR. STRAETMANS GmbH decided to shift the distribution for the United Kingdom and Ireland to RAHN (UK) Ltd. as of October 1, 2012. By doing so, DR. STRAETMANS extends its distribution activities with RAHN that already exists for two decades in other regions. DR. STRAETMANS and RAHN are now teaming up with an organization that is already sharing a lot of technical expertise.


Dow Microbial Control has announced that significant increases in its regulatory investments in recent years have enabled its customers to move toward advanced sustainable microbial control technologies. “Dow Microbial Control’s on-going commitment and investment in its regulatory expertise and resources helps the business successfully navigate the extremely complex regulatory environment for our customers” Greg Bradley, associate director of regulatory sciences and product sustainability, Dow Microbial Control.



Red Bug is a Singapore-based public relations agency, with a single-minded goal to provide sincere service and deliver professional results.Much of its work involves creating content to generate publicity for clients. For the personal care industry, Red Bug’s portfolio includes articles on skin care and hair care in China, Asia’s cosmetics & toiletries markets, and on maximizing trade show investments. These industry-specific pieces have appeared in numerous trade titles across the globe.The company’s expertise also extends to supporting personal care companies at trade shows. At these events, Red Bug connects its clients with international media and work to raise awareness about their brands amongst visitors.Red Bug has worked with a wide array of organisations, including private and listed multi-national companies as well as small-to-medium enterprises, so the company has a keen understanding of the concerns and workings of local and global entities.Armed with industry-specific knowledge coupled with keen PR experience, Red Bug can help companies, in and out of the personal care industry, to establish strong relationships with the media, and gain significant brand exposure through relevant media channels, both locally and worldwide.

Red Bug Team.

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