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Lessons in Peptides and Finding Balance
By: Katie Anderson
Posted: July 2, 2013, from the July 2013 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
Karl Lintner, PhD
page 2 of 3
C&T: What was one of the first important lessons you learned?
I learned the importance of customer service. The customer must be served quickly and precisely with quality products. These have to be the same quality in every batch; you can’t be sloppy. I introduced the idea of certifying the company for ISO 9000 qualification, which was just beginning at that time and not as obligatory as it is now. We needed to have not only quality control but also quality assurance. [Greff] was very keen on this.
C&T: Describe how you first began researching peptides and identified Matrixyl.
One day, the head of the chemical synthesis laboratory came to me with an article. [It described] a peptide structure that someone had tested and found to be the smallest fragment of collagen that still stimulated collagen synthesis in human lung fibroblasts. [This work] was done in a veteran hospital in Tennessee for wound healing research. He wondered if we could do anything with it, and although it was [tested] on the lungs, I thought maybe.
We synthesized and tested it [Matrixyl] in vitro with interesting but not overwhelming results, but in vitro testing depends so much on the protocol. So I decided to test it first on humans and if it worked, we would do further in vitro studies to find out how. At the time, I did a six-month study to see the results after two, four and six months. This was a big risk because if it didn’t work out, we would lose a lot of money and time. We came back with overwhelming results.
C&T: Although you worked with many cosmetic technologies, are there others you wish you had worked more with?
I should have followed the naturals trend a little more. My background was in peptide research, so that is the path I followed; I am not a botanist, so plants did not really appeal to me. I may have missed the train in this field. Another field I didn’t follow closely enough is delivery systems. When I joined Sederma, liposomes had been identified by some manufacturers but there was no supplier of liposomes. Sederma had the first liposomes on the market, which I contributed to. We were the biggest liposome supplier at the time, but we did not continue to develop more delivery technologies such as encapsulation, microparticles, nanoparticles, microsponges, etc., whereas other companies did and made good money from it.
C&T: What do you see on the horizon of personal care?
Plant cell technology will be something in the future, but it is still in its infancy with few suppliers having such products. I use the term plant cell and not stem cell because I think this term has been abused a little. It is becoming more difficult to source interesting plants in interesting areas without getting accused of bio-piracy, disturbing biodiversity and not complying with fair trade. With plant cell technology, plant cells are put in the fermenter and the conditions under which they grow are controlled. Biodiversity is not disturbed and you can direct the natural synthesis of your target molecule.
Need Sound Solutions to Questions and Issues of Active Ingredient Use?
Cosmetically Active Ingredients: Recent Advances, a dynamic collection of 43 Cosmetics & Toiletries articles describes or reviews research of cosmetic ingredients with physiological or biophysical activity on skin and hair. View the world of actives through the eyes and guidance of Karl Lintner, PhD, champion of peptide use in cosmetics. Follow a logical path from the stratum corneum structure and its barrier function to the renewal process of exfoliation and anti-aging that deals with stimulation of skin repair.
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