KIT scientists awarded grants to develop capillary suspensions

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

KIT scientists awarded grants to develop capillary suspensions

Related tags Liquid

Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have been awarded two 'ERC Starting Independent Researcher Grants' to look at capillary suspensions, which are responsible for adjusting the behavioral flow of cosmetic formulations, in an effort to help the industry develop more customized, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly products.

Novel suspensions are the basis of cosmetics formulations without conventional polymers, surfactants or emulsifiers whereby their role is to distribute a mixture of liquids and solids which can turn for example, a highly fluid, weakly elastic suspension into a gel-like structure with highly elastic properties.

By means of capillary suspensions, flow properties can be adjusted specifically, mixtures can be stabilized, phase separation can be avoided, and additives are no longer required. If a small volume of a liquid (less than 1 percent) is added to the continuous phase of a suspension, rheological characteristics are changed. This means that the flow of the suspension is modified.”

Thus, this funded research which is set to run over a period of five years, headed up by Dr. Pavel Levkin and Dr. Erin Koos will focus on the suspensions and microstructures with hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties in an effort to aid the cosmetics industry in developing more innovative, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly alternative materials, as a focus continues to turn to sustainability.

Each grant is worth €1.5 million each and is part of the ‘Ideas’ initiative under the 7th EU Research Framework Programme, which will help the teams to look at adjusting suspensions which will in turn adjust the flow behavior of the materials which could then result in better methods and desired properties.

EU grants injected into work developing alternatives for the industry

Denmark’s Ministry of the Environment also recently announced it was offering grants to Danish companies to motivate the development and testing of chemical alternatives for cosmetics industry.

The initiative envisions new and more effective environmental solutions in order to limit exposure in terms of the production and formulation of products by adjusting water activity, the pH value and use of multi-functional ingredients, which have a certain degree of antimicrobial action, or that support the effect of preservatives, which thus can be used in minor amounts.

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