May 14, 2007 Store shelves hold aisles of attractively packaged lipsticks, shampoos, toothpastes and other personal care products. But those attractively packaged products also contain their own internal microscopic packets of moisturizers, vitamins, anti-bacterial agents, and other active ingredients. Now these widely used products are getting a new generation of "smart" delivery systems -- microencapsulation systems that more efficiently deposit precious payloads into the body, according to an article scheduled for the May 14 issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS's weekly newsmagazine.
In the article, C&EN senior editor Marc S. Reisch explains that these minute "envelopes" long have been used to protect active ingredients that might otherwise degrade before reaching their intended bodily destinations. "Lately, these envelopes have become part of elaborate new systems with street smarts," Reisch writes. Although some deposit their contents when broken open with friction, others meter out increasingly expensive ingredients in response to changes in moisture, acidity, the presence of bacteria, or other triggers.
The article describes sweeping advances in encapsulation technology for personal care products, including encapsulation systems headed for the market in the months ahead. The systems represent significant improvements over those used in the past, and may open the door to the use of encapsulated ingredients in a wider range of products available at economical prices, Reisch adds.
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