Patent Picks—Renewable Polyphenols, Eco-friendly Gellants, Nano Silver Particles and More

Chosen biweekly for their relevance to personal care, Patent Picks are taken from publicly available sources. This edition features patents related to eco-friendly materials and processes.

Antimicrobial peptide microspheres
US Patent 8227406
Publication date: July 24, 2012
Assignee: Dermagen AB

The present invention relates to an antimicrobial peptide comprising a first set of amino acid residues with 2 to 36 amino acid residues or analogues thereof, linked to the amino or carboxyterminal end a second set comprising from 3 to 8 hydrophobic amino acid residues or analogues thereof, wherein said peptide has antimicrobial activity. Such an antimicrobial/pharmaceutical composition may be in the form of biodegradable microspheres and used in polymers, textiles or the like to create antibacterial surfaces for cosmetics and personal care products, i.e., soap, shampoos, toothpaste, anti-acne treatments, sun creams, etc., among others.

Biocompatible and biodegradable polymers from renewable natural polyphenols
US Patent Application 20120184682
Publication date: July 19, 2012
Assignee: Innovotech, LLC

This invention describes the use of resveratrol and curcumin, representatives of naturally occurring polyphenols, in their native form, after hydrogenation, and as their respective allyl derivatives, individually, in combination with themselves and other commercial monomers, to make representative varieties of polymers, e.g., polycarbonates, polyurethanes, co-polymers and biodegradable polymers. The polymers of the present invention are suitable for use as ingredients in formulations for personal care products, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals; as excipients in drug formulations; and for drug delivery purposes, among other uses.

Polycationic viscoelastic compositions
US Patent 8222455
Publication date: July 17, 2012
Assignee: Stepan Co.

According to this invention, there is a need for viscoelastic gellants that can provide all or most of the advantages of conventional non-polymeric gellants, and that: 1) can provide viscoelastic properties at higher temperatures, 2) are more eco-friendly, and/or 3) are more cost effective. The described technology addresses these needs. The viscoelastic compositions disclosed herein contain an effective amount of one or more random or structurally defined polycationic quaternary ammonium compounds that, for example, comprise bis-quaternary compounds that are symmetric or asymmetric and have utility as an additive in cosmetics applications, such as for hair conditioners, skin lotions, etc.

Chitin-chitosan block co-polymers
WIPO Patent Application WO/2012/080772
Publication date: June 21, 2012
Assignees: Universite Claude Bernard Lyon I, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Institut National Des Sciences Appliquees De Lyon, Universite Jean Monnet, Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique, D Laurent, K Shirai Matsumoto, S Trombotto and N Aracely Pacheco Lopez

According to this patent, chitosan offers potential in a variety of applications including cosmetics, nutraceutics and food conservation. This polymer is biodegradable, bioresorbable, biocompatible and non-toxic, and it is widely used in pharmaceutical applications as an excipient, for drug delivery applications, and as an active principle, i.e., fungistatic, bacteriostatic, wound healing agent and devices. Described herein is a chitosan presenting a degree of N-acetylation ranging from 5% to 45%, wherein its X-ray powder diffractogram shows at least one characteristic peak of a crystalline form of chitin.

Biodegradable polymer film comprising polyvinyl alcohol and cellulose polymer
European Patent Application EP2463328
Publication date: June 13, 2012
Assignee: Phyto World Co., Ltd.

This invention relates to a biodegradable polymer film with controlled biodegradability comprising a mixture of polyvinyl alcohol and cellulose polymer, and a preparation method thereof. Hydrophilic methyl cellulose is generally used in glue, thickeners, cosmetics or food, whereas alkali-soluble methyl cellulose is generally used to solidify the edge of textiles, or used for preparation of films. The described invention increases the tensile strength of the film and is safe for the environment.

Electrolysis to produce nano-sized silver particles
US Patent Application
Publication date: April 19, 2012
Assignee: Amogreentech Co., Ltd.

Disclosed in this patent is an eco-friendly method and apparatus for producing silver nanoparticles having uniform shape and size. The method involves: dissolving a reducing agent and an electrolyte into water in a reaction vessel, thereby preparing an electrolytic solution; placing a cathode rod made from a material other than silver to be obtained in the electrolytic solution so as to rotate in the reaction vessel, and placing at least one anode made of silver at a certain distance from the cathode rod; ionizing the silver at the anode by an electrolysis method in which direct current power is applied between the cathode rod and the anode while rotating the cathode rod so as to suppress silver crystals from forming on the surface of the cathode rod while stirring the electrolytic solution, thereby forming silver ions in the electrolytic solution; and reducing the silver ions to form the silver nanoparticles. The silver nanoparticles produced can be used in medical care, clothing and cosmetics as antimicrobial agents for treatments such as wound healing.

Process of manufacturing of fatty acid alkyl esters
US Patent 8124801
Publication date: Feb. 28, 2012
Assignee: Benefuel Inc.

Described by this patent, published early this year, are processes for the preparation of fatty acid alkyl esters. The steps involved include contacting fatty acid glycerides with alcohols in the presence of a catalyst, separating the reaction products from the catalyst, and separating the fatty acid alkyl esters from the reaction products. The catalyst includes a metal from Group VIB of the Periodic Table and an element from Group VA of the Periodic Table. These catalysts are beneficial and lead to an economic and eco-friendly process. The bio-based products derived via this process from vegetable and plant products, such as soybean, sunflower, and rapeseed, etc., are renewable, biodegradable, less environmentally hazardous and safer to handle for applications such as cosmetics and soaps.

Mass culture of microalgae for lipid production
US Patent 8017377
Publication date: Sept. 13, 2011
Assignee: AgOil International, LLC

According to this patent, a variety of algae species have been grown for decades as nutritional supplements, pharmaceutical applications, cosmetic ingredients and more. They are a source of pigments, proteins, enzymes, vitamins and amino acids. The method of production described here, disclosed late last year, is a process to create high density microalgae having high lipid concentration in mass culture including the steps of inoculating a vessel with microalgae at mid-log phase to a depth greater than 25 cm, then culturing the microalgae to a preselected target density threshold, bringing the microalgae to stationary phase, manipulating growth parameters to maximize lipid concentration, and harvesting the vessel.

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