Phospholipid polymers have been used to modify the surface structure of cell membranes since the late 1970s.1 Because the surface covered with this polymer suppresses the adsorption of proteins and reduces bonding of the cell, it is known to have excellent biocompatibility. The application and development of various medical devices – such as artificial organs, artificial blood vessels and biosensors – utilize this functionality.
Moreover, the phospholipid polymer has a high affinity to water, meaning it can form an extremely hydrophilic surface. Syaku et al.2 studied the moisture absorption and retention capabilities of the polymer and reported that the phospholipid polymer can be a new raw material for cosmetics based on two of its functions: its barrier function and its ability to retain moisture retention on the surface of the skin.
One example of a phospholipid polymer is formed by the polymerization of 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC). Various phospholipid polymers with various properties can be made by the presence of various copolymerization materials in the polymerization process.
We have developed a new phospholipid polymer, which is shown in Figure 1, with a hydrophilic and hydrophobic balance that has been adjusted by using butylmethacrylate as the hydrophobic monomer. In this article we will refer to this new material as MPCB to suggest the presence of the butyl-methacrylate in the copolymer. A previous study reported that MPCB exhibits an excellent efficacy in protecting the hair and improving the moisture retention capability of the skin.
In this paper, we will explain how we examined the effect of MPCB on surfactant-irritated skin, on the production of inflammatory cytokines and on the activity of proteases. We will also examine the interaction of MPCB with hydrophobic substances such as perfumes and fat-soluble vitamins.