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Genomics Take the Cake at the SCC December Meeting
By: Rachel Grabenhofer, C&T magazine
Posted: December 28, 2010
The Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) took innovation down to the genome level in not one but two of the five conference tracks presented Dec. 9–10, 2010, at the Annual Scientific Meeting and Technology Showcase. Other featured topics included sun protection, innovation in hair styling, technologies and trends in skin.
The event kicked off with a welcome address from SCC president Robert Lochhead, PhD (University of Southern Mississippi), who remarked how the society is beating this challenging economy with strong membership numbers. He also recognized several companies such as Coty Inc., The Estée Lauder Companies and L’Oréal USA, among others, who supported this year’s event by sending ten or more attendees each.
Opening the conference, Johann Wiechers, PhD (JW Solutions) spoke about nanoparticles, noting that while they are used to create transparency, the industry also needs to be more transparent in talking about them to encourage their use. “If the industry isn't talking about nanotech, people get the impression there's something wrong with it,” he said. Wiechers discussed some of the safety concerns over nanoparticles and concluded that, in the end, it is all about dose. “Even water, at too high a level, can be toxic,” he said.
In relation to dose, Wiechers described how pig skin models have typically been used to study penetration. However, in an example using nanodots, Wiechers observed that pig skin showed penetration whereas human skin did not. He noted that further studies are warranted but cautioned that there are inter-species differences. In the end, Wiechers concluded, “All evidence points to the sun shining on nanotechnology.”
The final presentation of the morning was by Philip Wertz, PhD (University of Iowa), who presented the Frontiers of Science Award lecture sponsored by Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine. Wertz discussed stratum corneum lipid composition and structure in relation to barrier function. He noted that the 13-nm units between the edges of corneocytes are thought to represent interdigitated covalently bound ceramides with some free lipids filling in some of the space. According to Wertz, this imposes a strict limit on the physical size of the particles that could penetrate through this space, although the follicular route provides a potential alternative pathway.