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European project transforming textile, cosmetic industries

Oct '19
Pic: Center for Nanotechnology and Technical, Functional and Intelligent Materials
Pic: Center for Nanotechnology and Technical, Functional and Intelligent Materials
The Center for Nanotechnology and Technical, Functional and Intelligent Materials (CeNTI) in Portugal is leading a consortium that brings together eight partners from five European countries and with a funding of around €3.2 million from the European Union (EU) to develop functional textiles and cosmetics with incorporation of natural base nanocapsules.

With this new technology, it will be possible to produce clothing that adapts to the climate and creates thermal comfort or releases active substances—essential oils, vitamins and antioxidants—for the skin.

One of the main objectives is to produce so-called first layer textiles—which are in contact with the skin—with functional properties, i.e., that can act according to the needs of those who use it.

In the SKHINCAPS project, textiles can have two types of functions: controlling thermal comfort, becoming cool in the heat or hot in the cold, and releasing active substances directly to the human skin in a controlled manner, according to a CeNTI press release.

To improve the performance of textiles at a thermal level, the idea is to incorporate so-called phase change materials (which absorb energy during the heating process and emit it during the cooling process) in order to improve the thermal management of the human body and to bring comfort to the user. On the other hand, textiles may incorporate controlled release nanocapsules of vitamins and antioxidants to reduce the effects of aging skin or essential oils to prevent or attenuate bacterial skin infections.

The great novelty of these new solutions is that these work at the nano level, producing smaller capsules (currently in the micro order) that pass more easily through the skin, a natural barrier of the human body, and therefore are more effective.

So far, it has already been possible to see that the products being developed under this project are highly cost-effective and also have a strong industrial production capacity, apart from being naturally based. SKHINCAPS is a project that explores innovative, clean and sustainable technology formulated on an aqueous basis, which makes the materials produced easy to industrialize and use.

All solutions found are tested and subjected to various tests, including toxicity tests, to ensure that they do not have a negative effect on human health.

CeNTI coordinates this project in which three other research institutes—the Institut fuer Verbundwerkstoffe (Germany), the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Spain) and the Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT OY (Finland)—and four companies—the Portuguese Devan-Micropolis, the Belgian Pro-Active and the Spanish Bionanoplus and Telic (the latter being responsible, among others, for the development of cosmetics for Real Madrid and Barcelona).

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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