Materials Science

Boost textiles and revitalize your skin and body

By Dr Roberto Teixeira, Strategic R&D Manager at Devan Chemicals

Dr Roberto Teixeira, Strategic R&D Manager at Devan Chemicals, an R&D-driven manufacturer of finishing technologies

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Dr Roberto Teixeira, Strategic R&D Manager at Devan Chemicals, an R&D-driven manufacturer of finishing technologies for textiles, talks about microcapsulation technology to boost textiles with well-being active ingredients.
In our daily lives, we are confronted with energy loss, sleep deprivation, ageing, allergens, pollution, UV damage … to name just a few. Novel technology now provides a way to boost the textiles we may wear or sleep on, so they can help to reduce negative impacts from outside, and enhance our well-being.
In order to boost textiles with well-being active ingredients, Devan makes use of microcapsules that can act as reservoirs of active ingredients that are stored and protected in the core from the surrounding environments like textile treatment processes, temperature, light or oxidation. In addition, the microcapsules allow an efficient fixation and consequent increase of the durability of the boosted textile.
For this, it is crucial to understand both textile surface chemistries and the functional groups displayed at the microcapsule walls. That requires, on one hand, straightforward functionalization of microcapsules shells with reactive groups compatible with textile fibres (e.g. hydroxyl groups) and, on the other hand, a bi-functional coupler that can react selectively and stepwise with microcapsules and textile substrates. As a result, the microcapsules are more durably bound to the textile surface, enhancing the added benefits of the treated textiles (Figure 1). 

14 Devan Fig 1.jpgUnder particular stimuli (a ‘trigger’), the encapsulated active ingredients may be released, giving the textile substrate a new and desired functionality. For Devan’s R-Vital capsules, the trigger is usually the friction resulting from the normal use of a textile.

With R-Vital products, the aim is to protect our skin against free radicals by enhancing the body’s natural defences, which decline with age. To accomplish this ambition, a range of ingredients are carefully selected – they include as anti-oxidants, which offer extra protection against free radicals, ageing, pollution or UV when absorbed by our skin.

An example of one such ingredient is the coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which is a vitamin-like nutrient (a quinone) associated with the mitochondria – the ‘energy factories’ – of our cells. This nutrient promotes the production of energy by the ATP molecule at a cellular level through perpetual energy cycles. Moreover, this coenzyme is a powerful anti-oxidant that ‘wipes up’ potentially harmful free radicals in our cells and can even regenerate other anti-oxidants such as vitamins E and C.

In partnership with the Japanese pharmaceutical company Kaneka, Devan has selected the Kaneka Q10 as the active core inside of its microcapsules. This product is manufactured by a yeast fermentation method, meaning it contains less impurities; and, very important, the main component is Ubiquinol, which is the reduced and more stable form of CoQ10. The other form, Ubiquinone, is oxidized and less stable. This may appear to be a small detail, but it is an important factor as 96% of the CoQ10 within our bodies is actually in the form of Ubiquinol.
Ubiquinol.pngIn order to demonstrate the high concentration of Ubiquinol in the microcapsules, in a laboratory experiment the microcapsules were ground with a mortar and pestle and the content was extracted with an ethanol/n-hexane solvent mixture. By analysing the extract by HPLC, a Ubiquinol ratio up to 95.5% was quantified – very similar to the ratio of our bodies.

Finally, the skin absorption of CoQ10 has been analysed, using in vitro permeation tests over 6 hours using vertical Franz diffusion cells with pig-skin membrane as a model for human skin. The Franz cell technique is widely used in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries and, in simple terms, comprises two chambers separated by the pig-skin. In Devan’s experiment, the CoQ10 product was placed in the upper chamber and the product was allowed to permeate the pig-skin to be collected in the lower chamber; this method can be correlated to human skin absorption from the stratum corneum (SC) into the blood stream. The quantification of the product was made by HPLC and the results presented in Figure 2. Within 4 hours CoQ10 (labelled UB), was completely absorbed and permeated through the whole thickness of the SC at both concentrations.

Devan’s R-vital textile treatments are intended to help strengthen the body’s natural defence against free radicals. These capsules may contain single or multiple active substances, including light fragrances, to tailor the treatment to specific needs.

The patented encapsulation technology is environmentally safe and skin friendly, and enables Devan to create the right blend for the required purpose.


Dr Roberto Teixeira, Strategic R&D Manager at Devan Chemicals