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The world continues to get smaller. Advances in transportation move us across the planet in just one day. Devices that fit in our hand instantly connect us to almost anyone, anywhere, at any time. In addition, virtual technologies and Skype put us in two places at once. Perhaps to some, the world is too small.
Mirroring our extensive reach to the outer world, technology has expanded our reach internally as well—take nanotechnology, for example. The scientific community continues to investigate the seemingly limitless potential of this tiny world. A quick Internet search reveals an array of interesting nano-related work under way, from molecular manufacturing and quantum computing, to nanomedicine, nanotubes, molecular biology and even nano guitars.1
This issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine also looks within the nano-sized world to examine the benefits these tiny technologies can impart in personal care. Delivery is one benefit. While debate surrounds the depth to which they penetrate skin, nanomaterials are nonetheless believed by most experts to do so, to some degree.2, 3
Pierfrancesco Morganti examines chitin-derived nanofibrils for their observed ability to reach different levels of skin permeability and thus achieve variable cosmetic efficacy. In relation, Sara Farahmand and Howard I. Maibach discuss models to predict the penetration of cosmetic ingredients based on human in vivo data. Also on the nano-scale, Jeffrey Eichen discusses the patent implications of nanometer-sized components to assist inventors and formulators in protecting their nano-scale inventions.
Moving to a small yet more visible range, Yelena Lipovetskaya describes advances in manufacturing solid polyethylene microspheres to control attributes such as opacity, specific gravity and electrostatic charge to impart interesting characteristics and benefits to color cosmetics.