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Toallita indicadora para detectar agentes irritantes en productos de cuidado personal

Resumen

Tipo:
Oferta Tecnológica
Referencia:
TOAT20160719001
Publicado:
25/07/2016
Caducidad:
25/07/2017
Resumen:
Un instituto de investigación austríaco ha desarrollado una nueva toallita rentable y ecológica que se utiliza como indicador y cambia de color verde a rojo al detectar el uso de un agente de limpieza irritante (alcalino). Esta toallita es útil para niños con la piel muy sensible, personas con dermatitis y otras afecciones de la piel y personas mayores. El instituto de investigación busca socios con el fin de establecer acuerdos de licencia y comercialización con asistencia técnica, así como para continuar con el desarrollo y fabricar la tecnología.

Details

Tittle:
Indicator washcloth to detect irritating agents in personal care products
Summary:
An Austrian research institute has developed an innovative, cost-effective, ecological washcloth featuring an indicator which changes colour from green to red if an irritating (alkaline) washing agent is used. The washcloth is useful for infants with highly-sensitive skin, for those with dermatitis/other skin conditions and for the elderly. The research institute seeks partners for licence/commercial agreement, in addition to those interested in further technical development and manufacturing.
Description:
The research institute develops solutions and technologies for businesses and industries across a wide range of sectors and conducts top-level research at an international level. It has developed a specialised washcloth aimed at infants, the elderly and those with skin conditions.

The acid mantle of the skin has a pH of around 5.5, which is slightly acidic. This protects the skin against bacteria, fungi and dryness. Therefore, skin-friendly (pH skin-neutral) detergents, shampoos and shower gels have a slightly acidic pH. Soaps and low-cost cleaning products however, are often alkaline (pH above 8), which can lead to skin irritation in both infants and dermatitis patients.

The washcloth is stained with a pH indicator. This indicator shows a colour change corresponding to the pH of the washing solution. Green signifies a pH value in the skin-friendly pH range, while red means that the pH is above 8, indicating that skin irritation may occur. This colour system is more user-friendly and unambiguous than the colour spectrum used with pH strips.

The washcloth is designed exclusively for personal care products. The washcloth may be immersed into the cleaning solution (e.g. in the bathtub), or used in the shower. Personal care products may also be tested prior to use by mixing a few drops of the product with water and dipping the washcloth into the solution. The indicator washcloth only shows the pH value correctly when the measuring area (the coloured heart) is sufficiently wet. Before reusing the washcloth, it should be rinsed several times with tap water to remove any traces of the previous cleaning product. In order to estimate the pH accurately, a colour comparison chart can be used. The washcloth should be washed at a maximum of 60 °C (conventional washing machines) with white textiles only. As the dye is sensitive to UV light, the washcloth should not be exposed to direct sunlight.

The dyeing procedure is practically identical to conventional textile dye chemistry and should therefore be compatible with established fabrication processes. Cotton, viscose, linen and cellulose can be dyed in this way, where dyeing is carried out in an aqueous solution at room temperature. The research institute has developed reactive dyes which form covalent bonds,which are stronger than hydrogen bonds.

The washcloth is specifically aimed at infants, the elderly and those suffering with skin conditions. Parents can get immediate information regarding the pH level of infant care products, thus enabling them to decide on alternatives if desired. In addition, since manufacturers frequently change their product compositions without informing the consumer, continuous monitoring of personal care products is advisable. The washcloth enables those with highly-sensitive skin to control the quality of their personal care products in this way.

The washcloth can also give additional information concerning the textile purging efficiency of the washing machine. If, after machine washing, the damp washcloth is red, then there are still detergent residues in the textile. Thus, the machine washing was insufficient and the textiles may be irritating when brought into contact with the skin.

The Austrian research institute would be open to licensing the product to interested parties with the aim of launching the product on the market, possibly in the form of a commercial agreement with technical assistance. It would also like to hear from partners who are in a position to cooperate on further development of the technology, specifically with regard to the fabrication process where yarn is coloured with the innovative dye and this yarn is then used to embroider the washcloth. Manufacturing partners who can assist with scaling-up the production for larger quantities are also of interest.
Advantages and Innovations:
Irritating products are indicated immediately

Allows for improved care of infants, dermatitis patients, the elderly, and those with highly-sensitive skin

Enables continuous monitoring of products where the composition might change without prior warning

Simple technology using an unambiguous colour system

Low maintenance as the washcloth can be used repeatedly and washed in conventional washing machines

Cost-effective and environmentally friendly compared to pH strips which are discarded after one use
Stage of Development:
Prototype available for demonstration
IPs:
Secret Know-how
CommeR Statunts Regarding IPR Status:
Patents concerning design and trademarks may be submitted together with the future industrial partner.

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
The ideal partner should be have expertise in dyeing of textiles and be in a position to up-scale the production and fabrication of the washcloth for larger quantities. The partner should also be in a position to launch the product on the market and have the necessary marketing and distribution contacts and skills.
Partners with experience in dermatology or venereology would be of particular interest.
The partner should be capable of manufacturing the indicator washcloth (parts of the process may be sub-contracted) and should also be able to carry out the relevant marketing and distribution activities.

In the initial stages, up-scaling the fabrication can be done in cooperation with the Austrian research institute. A partner interested in further product optimisation would be ideal.

Client

Type and Size of Client:
R&D Institution
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Si
Languages Spoken:
English
French
German

Keywords

Technology Keywords:
02007018 Advanced Textile Materials
06001005 Diagnósticos, diagnosis
03005003 Dyeing related to Textiles Technology
02007012 Materiales ópticos
06001022 Tejidos textiles para medicina