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New discovery on how skin cells form 'bridges' paves the way for advances in wound healing

Breakthrough study by the National University of Singapore sheds light on skin cell migration in wound healing process
A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have discovered that outer skin cells are able to unite to form suspended "bridges" during wound healing. The new findings will pave the way for tissue engineering, such as the design of artificial skin, and better wound treatment.
Led by Professor Lim Chwee Teck from the Mechanobiology Institute (MBI) at NUS and Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at the NUS Faculty of Engineering, and Professor Benoit Ladoux from MBI and Institut Jacques Monod, the scientists discovered how skin cells can migrate over regions devoid of support from the extracellular matrix, which are structural proteins that allow cells to adhere to. These research findings were first published online in the leading scientific journal Nature Materials.

How human outer skin cells form suspended multicellular "bridges"
Using microfabricated technology, the team found that layers of human outer skin cells, known as keratinocytes, are able to form suspended multicellular "bridges" over regions devoid of extracellular matrix support. Migrating keratinocytes are able to move forward as a united and homogenous collection of cells to form a protective barrier over a wounded area. Eventually, these cells come together to form suspended "bridges" over regions, which are not conducive for cell adhesion. It was previously not understood how this healing process, known as "re-epithelialization", could occur over a wound bed that did not provide a homogeneous coating of extracellular matrix for cells to migrate on.
The researchers also found out that the suspended cell sheet is created through the build-up of large-scale tension activated by acto-myosin, a kind of motor protein that can cause contraction in cells. They found the cell sheet to be elastic-like in behavior, which partly explained its ability to form multicellular bridges. This is not seen in other cell types which tend to be more fluid-like.

Next steps in tissue mechanobiology research
Commenting on their study, Prof Lim said, "We need to conduct an in-depth study of the various factors regulating wound healing so that we can better understand the process of tissue repair and regeneration. Our study will hopefully pave the way for designing better alternatives that can overcome the current limitations in the field of skin tissue engineering and promote satisfactory skin regeneration. Some potential applications include treating skin burn wounds as well as characterising the mechanical properties of cell sheets."
Moving forward, the team will continue to push the boundary of tissue mechanobiology research by investigating the physical and mechanical properties of skin cells. This research will enable scientists to have a better understanding of the changes associated with certain skin diseases such as blistering diseases and those that occur during the course of ageing.

Keeping an eye on component cleanliness

For components emerging from processing, the first order of business is: off to the showers! Oftentimes, multiple layers of impurities have become deposited on the surface, such as lubricant residues or filings. If these particles are not removed, they can affect the quality and functioning of the products in which they are used later on. The cleanliness guidelines for sectors such as the automobile industry have been considerably stiffened in recent years. The problem with this: to date, there hasn't been a satisfactory method with which to monitor the purification process, as there are no suitable measurement systems on the market that can be directly built into industrial cleaning systems. The effectiveness of cleansing procedures is checked through random sampling of individual components emerging from each batch. This process is a laborious one, however: to perform these checks, employees must manually wash away any residual impurities by hand in the laboratory, capture the particles rinsed away in a filter for analysis, and then analyze the results under a microscope. This method is too time-consuming and labor-intensive to permit a statistically relevant testing frequency.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA have now developed "PuriCheck" - a system that will make future cleanliness controls simpler and much more efficient. "This is a sensor system that can be connected to all standard cleaning systems, where it will monitor rinsing baths, for instance," explains Dr. Markus Rochowicz, group manager for contamination control at Fraunhofer IPA. The system consists of an analysis sieve with a variable mesh width, along with integrated camera technology and software for image analysis. The analysis sieve is installed in the system, directly in the flow of the rinsing bath, trapping any particles larger than the chosen mesh width. The built-in camera records the surface of the sieve at freely chosen measurement intervals and passes the images along to the software. The software, in turn, analyzes the size and quantity of particles and generates the results in tabular form. Alongside monitoring of purification processes, "PuriCheck" is also an asset to cleanliness analysis of components: because the individual work steps no longer need to be carried out by hand and are now automatic instead, the sample size can be increased considerably.
Optical counters of particles in fluid have been on the market for some time – but thus far, equipment that works superbly under laboratory conditions is still not up to the task in the rough and tumble of the day-to-day production environment. "The systems currently available are very sensitive to air bubbles or oil drops in the water. And that can significantly falsify the measurement result," Rochowicz points out. Using the IPA solution, air bubbles or oil drops can simply slip through the analytical sieve; this keeps them from erroneously being identified as particles.
The functional principle of "PuriCheck" has already proven itself in multiple pilot applications. The Researchers have brought Nägele Mechanik – a medium-sized company with a long history of project experience involving particles – on board for the step to a marketable product. The main focus in final developments is upon optimizing the system in terms of user-friendliness and robustness. With this in mind, for instance, the project partners have built in an easy-to-operate mechanism that can be used to rinse away any particles trapped in the analytical sieve. This prevents overloading or clogging and ensures smooth measurement behavior throughout the purification process.


Personal care products are possible sources of potentially harmful parabens for babies

Through lotions, shampoos and other personal care products (PCPs), infants and toddlers are likely becoming exposed to potentially harmful substances, called parabens, at an even higher level than adult women in the U.S., researchers have reported. They published their findings on parabens, which have been linked to reproductive and other health issues, in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Kurunthachalam Kannan and Ying Guo point out that the substances called phthalates and parabens are used in a wide range of products, from medical devices to children’s toys, as well as PCPs. Phthalates hold in moisture; parabens are used as preservatives. Most people are exposed to them every day — for example, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that more than 90 percent of the population is exposed to these substances. The body breaks them down quickly, but both have been detected in urine, breast milk and blood. Research suggests a link between these substances and health issues in animals and people, such as sperm damage, breast cancer and an increased risk for asthma. In previous studies, Kannan’s team found that food and indoor dust contributed to phthalate exposure to varying degrees, but paraben exposure was low. Now it was time for them to look at a third route of possible exposure — the use of PCPs.
They collected 170 samples of makeup, lotions, shampoos and other products, including 20 items for babies, and tested them for nine phthalates and six parabens. Both substances were found in PCPs. In baby products, phthalate concentrations were low, but parabens were common. When the researchers calculated possible exposure levels, they estimated that the potential daily skin exposure to parabens by infants and toddlers could be as much as two to three times higher than that for adult women.


Of lice and men (and chimps): Study tracks pace of molecular evolution

A new study compares the relative rate of molecular evolution between humans and chimps with that of their lice. The researchers wanted to know whether evolution marches on at a steady pace in all creatures or if subtle changes in genes – substitutions of individual letters of the genetic code – occur more rapidly in some groups than in others.
A report of the study appears in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.??The team chose its study subjects because humans, chimps and their lice share a common historical fate: When the ancestors of humans and chimps went their separate ways, evolutionarily speaking, so did their lice.??“Humans are chimps’ closest relatives and chimps are humans’ closest relatives – and their lice are each others’ closest relatives,” said study leader Kevin Johnson, an ornithologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey at the University of Illinois. “Once the hosts were no longer in contact with each other, the parasites were not in contact with each other because they spend their entire life cycle on their hosts.”??This fact, a mutual divergence that began at the same point in time (roughly 5 million to 6 million years ago) allowed Johnson and his colleagues to determine whether molecular evolution occurs faster in primates or in their parasites.??Previous studies had looked at the rate of molecular changes between parasites and their hosts, but most focused on single genes in the mitochondria, tiny energy-generating structures outside the nucleus of the cell that are easier to study. The new analysis is the first to look at the pace of molecular change across the genomes of different groups. It compared a total of 1,534 genes shared by the primates and their lice.??To do this, the team had to first assemble a rough sequence of the chimp louse (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) genome, the only one of the four organisms for which a full genome sequence was unavailable.??The team also tracked whether changes in gene sequence altered the structure of the proteins for which the genes coded (they looked only at protein-coding genes). For every gene they analyzed, they determined whether sequence changes resulted in a different amino acid being added to a protein at a given location.??They found that – at the scale of random changes to gene sequence – the lice are winning the molecular evolutionary race. This confirmed what previous, more limited studies had hinted at.??“For every single gene we looked at, the lice had more differences (between them) than (were found) between humans and chimps. On average, the parasites had almost 15 times more changes,” Johnson said. “Often in parasites you see these faster rates,” he said. There have been several hypotheses as to why, he said.??Humans and chimps had a greater percentage of sequence changes that led to changes in protein structure, the researchers found. That means that even though the louse genes are changing at a faster rate, most of those changes are “silent,” having no effect on the proteins for which they code. Since these changes make no difference to the life of the organism, they are tolerated, Johnson said. Those sequence changes that actually do change the structure of proteins in lice are likely to be harmful and are being eliminated by natural selection, he said.?? In humans and chimps, the higher proportion of amino acid changes suggests that some of those genes are under the influence of “positive selection,” meaning that the altered proteins give the primates some evolutionary advantage, Johnson said.??Most of the genes that changed more quickly or slowly in primates followed the same pattern in their lice, Johnson said.??“The most likely explanation for this is that certain genes are more important for the function of the cell and can’t tolerate change as much,” Johnson said.??The new study begins to answer fundamental questions about changes at the molecular level that eventually shape the destinies of all organisms, Johnson said.??“Any difference that we see between species at the morphological level almost certainly has a genetic basis, so understanding how different genes are different from each other helps us understand why different species are different from each other,” he said. “Fundamentally, we want to know which genetic differences matter, which don’t, and why certain genes might change faster than others, leading to those differences.”

Beiersdorf AG, Hamburg, has a new company logo with a clean, clear and future-oriented design. It symbolizes the company’s focus on skin care and its concentration on the essential. It stands for the company’s comprehensive strategic development and its upward movement from the foundation of the “Blue Agenda”. At the same time, it creates a connection to the roots of the company’s rich historical tradition: founded in 1882 by pharmacist Paul C. Beiersdorf, the company became the inventor of modern skin care with the brand NIVEA and remains an international leader in its field today. CEO Stefan F. Heidenreich remarks: “Beiersdorf stands for quality, reliability and trust, for tradition and innovation. Most of all Beiersdorf stands for outstanding products and skin care expertise. The new Beiersdorf logo clearly reflects these values, our core competence and our identity. It is a development of the former logo oriented toward the future and builds a bridge between the company’s tradition and its future”.

Dr. Straetmans is expanding the Verstatil range. The Verstatil range offers economic, efficient and modern solutions for antimicrobial protection of cosmetics products without using Parabens, MIT, Formaldehyde and Phenoxyethanol. Within the Verstatil Product range formulators will find easy to use preservation blends for every type of product and marketing concept.?

A NATRUE certification audit was successfully carried out for DEFENSIL®-PLUS, REFORCYL® and CLEOMILK® by RAHN. ?Thanks to it, now each of the three RAHN-Cosmetic Actives is now certified by NATRUE.?

Atlas Material Testing Technology will exhibit at in-cosmetics 2014 on April 1-3, 2014 in Hamburg, Germany. Sunlight and artificial light can cause packaging printing inks to fade, affect colorants in hair dyes, cause “off” odours in products or destroy important nutritional components such as vitamins. Therefore, lightfastness and photostability testing of cosmetics are essential to the success of a product. With its SUNTEST® family of products, Atlas offers practical, reliable and economical entry-level instruments for lightfastness and photostability testing of smaller specimens such as cosmetics or pharmaceutical drug products.

Evonik Corporation has announced it has successfully completed its merger with Evonik Goldschmidt Corporation, a leading provider of specialty surfactants to numerous industries with a major focus on the consumer market. Dr. Reinhold Brand, senior vice president and general manager of Evonik's Consumer Specialties North American Business Unit refers: “As of January 1, 2014, Evonik Goldschmidt Corporation is fully incorporated into Evonik Corporation and is no longer a separate legal entity […] As Evonik Corporation, we will continue to focus on delivering innovative products and maximizing growth and value in the consumer care markets”.

FLUIDIPURE™8G, which is a glycine and sugar biovector, aids in limiting the proliferation of microorganisms on the skin and in formulations. Its anionic structure (negative electric charge) prevents the adhesion of microbial biofilms. This active agent, presented in liquid and transparent form, can be readily incorporated into any type of cosmetic care or hygiene product, including processes performed without heating. FLUIDIPURE™8G restores the cutaneous ecosystem whilst also preserving the integrity of sensitive skins. Seppic assures that when used in hair care, it reduces dandruff, calms scalp irritation and decreases the production of sebum in 3 to 6 shampoo washes (in vivo test performed on 40 volunteers presenting seborrheic dermatitis). Furthermore, FLUIDIPURE™8G participates in reducing hair and body odour. As a biomimetic acidifying agent, it helps attacked skin to regain its physiological pH (acidic), so ensuring its integrity.

Symrise has launched a natural tanner SymBronze®1659. The new, natural ingredient is derived from a sustainable and renewable source: the marine water microalgae Isochrysis galbana var T.ISO. It reliably enhances the pigmentation of the skin. The proven efficacy includes sunless self-tanning and an accelerated tan during UV exposure. SymBronze® 1659 can be used in many cosmetic applications like sunless self-tanning creams as well as products to prepare the skin for the bikini season.

?alal (Arabic for permissible) is any object or an action permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. The term covers and designates not only food and drink as permissible according to Islamic law, but also all matters of daily life. Muslims must also ensure that all food, as well as non-food items like cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, are ?alal. In order to meet customer requirements in Asia, the Middle East and the Maghreb region Evonik Industries commissioned an examination of its plants in Essen and Duisburg for compliance with Islamic law. As of November 15, 2013, Evonik Industries in Essen and Duisburg are classified as “pure” (tahir) and permitted according to ritual Islamic regulations and therefore evaluated as “?alal”.

One of the main warehouses for India, located in the vicinity of New Delhi, has been totally destroyed by fire. Gratefully, no person has been reported injured in the incident. As a consequence, service levels in the Indian market will be affected during the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014. Oriflame is taking actions and is confident to ensure best possible service levels to its consultants. This will render additional costs linked to freight and air shipments in the coming two quarters. The warehouse as well as the inventory are fully insured.

Sabinsa is taking natural cosmetic ingredients to a new level with the launch of the D'Cosmix™. D'Cosmix is the result of over two decades of dedicated research by the Sami/Sabinsa team to develop novel cosmeceuticals derived from natural sources. D'Cosmix provides innovative solutions to create unique formulations differentiated from others on the market, with Sabinsa's expertise available to assist customers in developing their formulas from the range of ingredients offered. D’Cosmix caters to the broad palette of applications in the Cosmeceutical and personal care range that includes anti-aging, anti-acne, calming, hydration, skin brightening and hair nourishment and support, and more. D'Cosmix is designed for use in various dosage forms that include creams, lotions, serums, gels, cleansers and toners.

“Green tires” reduce the fuel consumption of trucks by 8.5 percent and can save carrier and logistics companies several million euros a year. These quality tires, with optimized rolling resistance, also significantly reduce CO2 emissions in commercial vehicles compared to standard tires. These are the results of a road test on truck tires. It was carried out by LANXESS, the world’s leading manufacturer of synthetic high-performance rubbers for the tire industry, and chemical logistics provider TALKE.

The Procter & Gamble Company has reported first quarter fiscal year 2014 diluted net earnings per share of $1.04, up eight percent versus the prior year. Core earnings per share were $1.05, a decrease of one percent versus the prior year. On a currency-neutral basis, core earnings per share increased eight percent for the quarter. Net sales were $21.2 billion, an increase of two percent, including a negative two percentage point impact from foreign exchange. Organic sales grew four percent for the quarter. “P&G’s first quarter results were consistent with our plans and expectations, putting us on track to deliver our goals for the fiscal year” said Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer A.G. Lafley and continued: “We have good market share momentum, a number of strong innovations coming to market over the balance of the year, and cost savings from productivity efforts that will continue to build. We remain focused on driving innovation and productivity. We continue to improve operating discipline and execution every day to create value for consumers and shareowners”.

AkzoNobel has agreed the sale of 67 of its 72 German decorative paints stores to five independent wholesale distributors. Financial details were not disclosed. As a result of the transactions, all related assets and staff will transfer to the new owners, with completion expected by the end of Q1 2014. Of the remaining five stores, three will be closed, while the sale of the other two is expected to be finalized by the end of the month. AkzoNobel will also form strategic partnerships with the five distributors, with contracts in place for the company to continue supplying paint. The new owners will be Schlau Hammer, MEG Rhein Ruhr, MEG Paderborn, MEG West and Weigel.

P&G hair care brand, Aussie and Nickelodeon have partnered on a new hair care collection for kids inspired by the hit preschool series, Dora the Explorer. Aussie Kids, the brand’s first-ever licensed product line, will feature Dora, Boots and her cousin, Diego right on the bottles, so kids can have an adventurous bath time voyage with their favourite TV characters. “Nickelodeon is delighted to partner with Aussie Kids to create their first-ever licensed hair care line,” said Samantha Kanter, Vice President, Packaged Goods, Nickelodeon Consumer Products. “The collection allows Dora fans to experience their favourite explorers in a whole new way by making bath time fun and interactive for kids and parents everywhere”.

IDEA Lab is proud to announce that toxicity and mutagenicity studies have obtained the certificate of compliance with Good Laboratory Practices, delivered by the GIPC (Interministerial Group of Chemical Products), since November, 9th 2013.

Arch Chemicals, Inc., a Lonza company, has announced that it has filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission to initiate antidumping and countervailing duty investigations with respect to Chinese calcium hypochlorite. Calcium hypochlorite is a common sanitizer used in pools and spas and has a number of other uses. Lonza has filed the petition on behalf of the domestic industry. The petition begins the process for imposing duties at the border to offset the advantage Chinese manufacturers have obtained in the market through unfair pricing and government subsidies. Rick Walden, Senior Vice President refers: “In recent years through aggressive tactics, the Chinese manufacturers have grabbed market share and threaten the viability of this product for us […] We feel the petition is necessary in order to create fair competition that benefits all”.

The Mibelle Group is the Swiss manufacturer of cosmetics and personal care products, detergents and cleaning agents, as well as butter, fats and margarines for Migros. Some 3.8 million liquid-detergent items pass through the filling lines each year and these used to be packaged predominantly in plastic. However, more than ten years ago, the company completely replaced the plastic bottles used to package these products with refillable pouches. Soon afterwards, shower products and liquid soaps were also offered in refillable pouches. The switch to refillable pouches led to a significant reduction in packaging weight as about 75 percent less packaging material is now used than for bottles. In addition, as documented in a current study carried out by PE INTERNATIONAL AG, 25 percent fewer CO2 emissions are generated during the entire value-added chain of a refillable pouch compared with that of a plastic bottle.

The organoleptic, physico-chemical and microbiological stability of cosmetic products is essential in order to meet requirements set by health authorities and guarantee consumer health, and must be preserved under all the different conditions the products may be subject to from production to use. This is the premise of the seminar “Stability Studies for Cosmetic Products” organised this December in Barcelona by iiR España. Eurofragance, a company with more than 20 years’ experience in the design and production of fragrances, was invited to this event.

Henkel’s Laundry and Home Care business and DKSH Business Unit Consumer Goods, Asia’s leading Market Expansion Services provider for fast moving consumer goods, have entered into a long-term strategic partnership to launch Henkel’s laundry detergents in Myanmar. Under this partnership, both companies have agreed to jointly invest in the development, marketing, sales and distribution of Henkel’s laundry products in the country. Henkel and DKSH have appointed Jens Knoke, Corporate Director, Global Business Development, Laundry and Home Care business sector at Henkel, to lead their partnership in Myanmar.

Induchem's latest active ingredient, Neodermyl®, has been recognized for the third time during in-cosmetics Asia 2013 show in Bangkok. After being honoured during in cosmetics Paris with the Gold award as well as in SEPAWA tradeshow with an Innovation Award, Induchem received an award for Neodermyl® for the third time, selected by an esteemed jury as "finalist best new ingredient".

Jungbunzlauer offers a wide range of naturally-sourced ingredients which are based on non-GMO corn. These raw materials are transformed via fermentation and clean authorised processes into valuable ingredients which can be applied in natural personal care products. Surfachem has been named as preferred distributor in the UK & Eire for Jungbunzlauer personal care portfolio.

For superior service in silicone raw material supply, NuSil Technology LLC recently received the Supplier Recognition Award from medical device manufacturer Mentor. With this inaugural award the stand-alone business unit of surgical care product organization Ethicon, under Johnson & Johnson (J&J), formally acknowledges outstanding suppliers who consistently provide high-quality materials and first-rate customer support. “The big picture of the Supplier Recognition Award for NuSil” said Mark Anderson, Manager – QA Testing, NuSil Technology Texas and continued: “is the visibility it gives us relative to J&J/Ethicon/Mentor and their supply chains. If a J&J company deems you a winner, you get a lot of positive attention”.

Following the approval of the Brazilian Anti-Trust Authority CADE, The Body Shop confirms the acquisition of 51 percent of Emporio Body Store in Brazil with the option of increasing its shareholding to 80 percent by 2019, as per the terms of the project announced on 15 October.

Collagen proteins from GELITA open up new worlds of enjoyment. These range from the manufacture of gummy bears, cheese spreads, beverages, functional foods and many other food items. By using gelatines of higher or lower Bloom values, the products melt or gel exactly when they should. This is because of their outstanding ability to form thermoreversible gels. Thus, they are predestined for the development of innovative product ideas and new food creations. Collagen proteins are also able to influence texture. They thus determine for example how spreadable a cream cheese is or how much more mouth feel a mousse has. In order to achieve optimal consistency in modern foodstuffs, GELITA® Gelatine is an important ingredient.

L’Oréal has said it will stop sales of Garnier products in China as it appears to be a slowing market. Instead, the company says it will focus on its L’Oréal Paris and Maybelline New York product lines, which have been better performing in China.

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