At nano engineering company Sol-Gel Technologies (Bet Shemesh, Israel), Malvern's Zetasizer Nano particle characterization system is proving to be an essential tool in the production of a unique product for encapsulating UV filters. The Zetasizer Nano is used to measure the particle size distribution of the company's UV Pearls product, both for process control and as part of the QC specifications of the final materials. The system was selected because, of all the instruments evaluated, it gave the most reproducible results across the narrow size ranges required, from 300 nm to 2 microns.
Dr Ofer Toledano, Sol-Gel Technologies' R&D Manager, explains the importance of controlling particle size: "UV filters are widely used in sunscreens, but can themselves cause skin damage. Our process encapsulates the UV-filter in a glass bead, retaining its UV protective properties, but preventing direct contact with the skin. If, on the one hand, the particle size is too large, the sun protection factor is reduced. If, on the other hand, it is too small, skin penetration may occur."
Production of the UV Pearls entails an emulsification process, followed by encapsulation and dispersion. The particle size distribution of the dispersion must conform to strict specifications within a narrow range. Particles larger than 2 microns in diameter may result in non-uniform coverage of the skin since gaps between the particles will allow UV penetration.
Sol-Gel's UV Pearls are marketed by Merck KgaA and is used in a variety of sunscreen products around the world.
Malvern's Zetasizer Nano series simplifies the measurement of particle size, stability characterization using zeta potential, and molecular weight, for a wide range of dispersions, emulsions and molecules in solution. It is the method of choice for nano-particle applications from routine colloid size measurements to the investigation of particulates at the leading edge of materials research. Patented technologies ensure optimum performance for particle size measurement over the range 0.6 to 6000 nm, molecular weight measurement from 1 x 103 to 2 x 107 Daltons and the zeta potential of particles from 5 nm to 10 µm. www.malvern.com
About Sol-Gel Technologies
Sol-Gel Technologies Ltd. is a groundbreaking nanoengineering company that has developed proprietary platform technology with potential commercial applications in many different markets. This technology, discovered by Professor David Avnir from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, allows a vast range of active ingredients to be encased in highly transparent silica glass matrices or nanospheres at room temperature. The ingredients can thereby be safely isolated and their delivery can be controlled, a potentially valuable innovation for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic markets. The company has received exclusive worldwide licenses and patents, plus patents pending, for this technology. Sol-Gel was founded in 1997. It is based in Israel and in the USA. This fast growing company includes a team of distinguished scientists, engineers and business managers and operates a state-of-the-art GMP plant capable of producing commercial quantities of its nanotechnology products. Sol-Gel's first commercial product, UV-Pearls, is already being sold to some of the world's leading cosmetic manufacturers. www.sol-gel.com
About Malvern Instruments
Malvern Instruments is a global company that develops, manufactures and markets advanced analytical systems used in characterizing a wide variety of materials, from bulk powders to the latest nanomaterials and delicate macromolecules. Innovative technologies and powerful software produce systems that deliver industrially relevant data enabling customers to make the connection between micro (eg particle size) and macro (bulk) material properties (rheology) and chemical composition (chemical imaging). Malvern laboratory, on-line and in-line solutions are proven in sectors from cement to pharmaceuticals and support the understanding, improvement and optimization of many industrial processes.
Headquartered in Malvern, UK, the company has subsidiary organizations in all major European markets, North America, China, Korea and Japan, key partnerships in India, a global distributor network and a number of applications laboratories around the world. www.malvern.com
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