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Scientific objectives

Optimization of the nanocapsules design

PeptiCaps technology is based on the design of new macroemulsifier with adjustable hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) to stabilize nanodroplets of oil or water containing lipophilic or hydrophilic active ingredients, respectively. The conditions of the affected skin (change in pH and presence of enzyme) will trigger the release, ensuring higher activity of the natural ingredient by delivery at the right location.

Production of nanocapsules via industrially relevant process

High-pressure homogenizers (HPH) allows high solids content dispersions of nanodroplets even for systems dealing with highly viscous organic phases to be produced. At the entrance of the gap, the droplets suffer elongational flow and the elongated droplets are broken up by the turbulence created at the exit of the gap, resulting in nanosized droplets.

Tubular flow membrane contactor technique is based on a microporous membrane in a tubular or hollow fiber shape. The first phase flows inside the membrane tube, and the other phase flows through the membrane pores. The main advantages of using tubular or hollow fiber membrane geometry are the ease to increase the membrane area and low energy consumption.

Treatment of skin conditions

Irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) is the most common type of contact dermatitis (80% of occupational contact dermatitis). ICD can occur immediately and does not require prior sensitization. In addition, it can be induced by 85,000 chemicals (soaps, detergents, solvents, adhesives, fiberglass…) or environmental factors (wetting, drying, respiration, or extreme temperature). The symptoms of ICD can take many forms: redness, itching, crusting, swelling, blistering, oozing, dryness, scaliness, thickening of the skin, and a feeling of warmth at the site of contact.

Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) results from repeated exposure to an allergen (sensitization) which triggers an immune response that inflames the skin, such as drugs, pesticides, cosmetics, food additives, commercial chemicals. In Europe about 20% of the population suffers from ACD to at least one contact allergen, which results in high economical costs for health care systems, as well as an impairment of the quality of life for the patients. Symptoms range from mild to severe and appear similar to those of ICD.

Skin photo-damage relates to the exposition of the skin to UV (A and B) which slowly damages the skin resulting in premature wrinkling, sagging, a leathery texture and hyperpigmentation. Exposure to non-extreme daylight can ultimately lead to skin cancer, which is the ninth most common cancer in Europe, with more than 100,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012 (3% of the total) and the 19th most common cancer worldwide (2% of the total). Those numbers are expected to increase as everybody is subjected to this low exposure of sunlight. In addition, longer expected life for European citizen will increase the light exposure time and, hence, the risk for complication.

Skin pigmentation can be caused by sun damage, inflammation, or other skin injuries, including those related to acne vulgaris. Hyperpigmentation, or brown spots, is one of the most common condition afflicting people in western countries. The main purpose of skin whitening/lightening products is to lighten skin as well as reducing pigmentation disorders such as age spots, freckles and post-inflammation spots.