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Sub-Micron Oil Particles Make the Patent Cut

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Leading Edge Innovations (LEI), a developer of health and beauty products, has received a U.S. patent for aqueous-based compositions containing sub-micron oil particles and highly water-miscible solvents.

According to LEI, U.S. Patent # 9,357,770 describes “Substantially Surfactant-Free, Submicron Dispersions of Hydrophobic Agents Containing High Levels of Water Miscible Solvent,” which can be used to create elegant aesthetics and enhanced performance in cosmetics, skin care, sun care, OTC drug and other topical applications. 

The invention is based on the company's MicroSperse Technology process to create sub-micron dispersions, which is an alternative to conventional surfactant-based methods to create o/w emulsions. The physical interactions include high-pressure, high-shear processes that reduce particle sizes from 1/10 to 1/50 of those produced by conventional emulsification techniques.

Jim Wilmott, founder and chief scientific officer, LEI, commented, "This technology represents a way forward in addressing the obstacles previously encountered when attempting to incorporate functional actives that are not water-soluble into a consumer-desirable product composition in a safe and effective manner"—i.e., without the need for potentially sensitizing materials.

According to the company, the submicron oil particles of oil and other hydrophobic materials can be combined in virtually any ratios to permit unique compositions that could not previously be achieved by other means. It also aligns with the multi-sensory product trend, enabling the formulation of a variety of product types that tap into multiple senses, such as cooling sunscreens, moisturizing hand sanitizers, efficacious acne treatments and soothing cosmetics.

The company noted this patent award is a well-timed occurrence, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in the process of reviewing rules on antiseptic rubs including hand sanitizers to address potential safety issues. LEI’s sub-micron particle formulations address the FDA's concerns related to hand sanitizers; i.e., incorporating essential fatty acids and barrier lipids into a dispersion that is readily stable in a high alcohol environment. As the alcohol either permeates into or evaporates from the skin, the lipids are delivered to the barrier, ultimately reinforcing it. In turn, skin health improves progressively with frequent and repeated use.