Snail Slime, MMP-2 Trigger and More: Advances in Delivery and Efficacy at IFSCC19


Taking the same route will not end at an exciting new destination. Similarly, using the same approach to develop or test a product will not result in a step-change innovation. For this reason, new solutions to deliver, develop and test product efficacy were presented during the 2019 IFSCC Conference. Following are select examples.

Omitting Genetics from the Aging Equation

New this year to the IFSCC Conference, some poster presenters were invited to the stage for a brief, five-minute “pitch” of their work. In this setting, Teramura Takahashi, of Kose Corp., shared his team’s poster to measure the effects of anti-aging materials in fibroblasts collected from the same individuals over time, removing genetics from the test equation.

“Skin aging is a slow, continuous and irreversible process [with observed changes in] texture, wrinkles and firmness…But to fully understand chronological aging, we need a new model,” said Takahashi.

According to the poster abstract, this study used an unprecedented fibroblast cell series obtained from the same donor at different ages to create a full-thickness in vitro human skin model for the molecular biological analysis of chronological aging. The approach confirmed the influence of aging in both the epidermal and dermal parts of skin.

It also verified the absence of senescence induced by prolonged culturing of cells. Finally, it eliminated inter-individual variability since the fibroblasts were all derived from a single donor, completely removing the influence of individual diversity. The approach provides valuable insights on the aging process.

Snail Slime-empowered Anti-aging Gold Nanoparticles

Vito Rizzi, of the University of Bari, explained work leveraging the well-known skin care benefits of snail slime with the biomedical potential of gold nanoparticles. In particular, snail secretion (SS) from Helix aspersa was used to synthesize gold nanoparticles, referred to as AuNPs (AuNPs-SS), imparting them with interesting properties—antioxidant and tyrosinase inhibition in cosmetics, and accelerated wound healing and anti-inflammation effects in biomedicine.

According to the authors, rapid closure of dermatological wounds is vital to prevent infection and reduce post-treatment side effects but current therapeutic agents can be costly, unsafe and toxic for surrounding healthy tissues. As such, gold nanotechnology was explored, in conjunction with SS. The SS main compounds were used as reducing agents, supporting AuNP synthesis via the reduction of Au(III), from an HAuCl4 solution, to Au(0), while forming an organic layer around the AuNPs. This was carried out in a single step reaction under mild experimental conditions, avoiding the use of additional, potentially toxic agents.

Rheological fingerprinting was shown to capture the textural expression perceived by consumers.

The results? Tests showed efficacy ranging from wound healing, anti-aging and anti-wrinkles, to skin whitening. “Snail slime plus gold nanoparticles is a potent anti-active,” said Rizzi. During the Q&A session, he added, “The nanoparticles also were not found to be toxic.”

MMP-2-activated Nanoemulsifiers Improve Delivery

Damien Dupine, of CIDETEC Nanomedicine, described new polypeptide block copolymers to produce stable nanocapsules. These efficiently protected fragile actives, e.g., Curcuma longa root extract or retinyl palmitate, increasing their stability and activity upon delivery.

According to the full paper, “Nanoemulsions are kinetically stable biphasic dispersions of two immiscible liquids stabilized by a surfactant or emulsifier, with a particle size around 100 nm. [These] can encapsulate a wide range of active ingredients.” Encapsulation of both hydrophobic or hydrophilic actives is achieved by the choice of surfactant used.

Skin penetration experiments indicated good targeted release of actives across the epidermis. In addition, dual delivery kinetics—fast under damaged skin conditions, and sustained and long-lasting for healthy skin—were demonstrated. With foundations in nanomedicine, this approach of delivering upon the degradation of nanocapsules in the presence of MMP-2 showed improved delivery, which, according to Dupine during the Q&A, remained in the epidermis.

Combing Tests During Shampooing
Reveal Sensory Insights

Xin Qu, of Ashland, described a method to capture dynamic combing force measurements during shampooing rather than after rinsing, when traditional assessments are made. He explained that all stages of hair washing are important to the consumer’s sensory input.

A pre-shampoo treatment significantly reduced hair loss during shampooing—potentially opening up a new product category.

The system includes a fingertip sensor to measure the force applied to the comb during the massage, rinsing and after-rinse stages of shampooing. Results indicated hair tresses washed by a test shampoo showed more tangling and a higher combing force during the massage stage, yet less tangling and a lower combing force during the rinsing and after-rinse stages.

In another application, the method showed hair tresses treated first using a pre-shampoo with 0.4% acrylamidopropyltrimonium chloride/acrylic amide copolymer (APTAC/AM copolymer) had significantly lower hair tangling and combing force after shampooing, especially during the rinsing stage. A salon study found the same trends but a larger difference in the dynamic combing forces. The results correlated well with a consumer study showing a pre-shampoo treatment could significantly reduce hair loss during shampooing—potentially opening up a new “pre-shampoo” product category.

How does the copolymer pre-treatment reduce tangling and hair loss? Qu explained traditional conditioning acts via coacervation during dilution but these flocculates tend to deposit unevenly and wash off easily. Here, via the APTAC/AM copolymer, a new mechanism of in situ controlled flocculation was introduced, which forms a homogenous complex on hair. The hydrophobic, transparent and elastic film produced conditions hair during rinsing, imparts antipollution effects and protects against damage and heat.

Deformation and Rheology ‘Fingerprinting’

Finally, Coralie Alonso, also of Ashland, explained that conventional rheological techniques generally collect linear viscoelastic data for a cosmetic product, which provides insights on the architecture or spatial configuration of microstructural components of the formula in its “at-rest” state. However, linear rheological data fails to describe the consumer’s textural experience associated with large and fast deformations during daily product application.

Here, rheological fingerprinting was introduced as an alternative. The non-linear rheological technique, termed large amplitude oscillatory shear (LAOS), was shown to capture the textural expression perceived by consumers.

Lissajous plots generated from the LAOS data provided a fingerprint of the tested formula and were utilized to analyze the thickening mechanism and monitor the influence of various parameters, such as the chemistry and molecular weight of the thickener; pH of the formula medium; influence of other ingredients in the formula (surfactants, emulsifiers, etc.); and processing conditions.

As noted, the described papers and posters are but a sampling of the advances presented at the IFSCC Conference. Stay tuned as we roll out additional coverage.

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