AsianScientist (May 23, 2014) – A*STAR scientists and LION Corporation are collaborating to develop anti-microbial products based on a multi-purpose, highly customizable molecule. These products are intended to replace chemical biocides that are currently found in some household products, which countries such as the US are considering banning.
LION, a major manufacturer of detergents, soaps, medications, oral hygiene products and other toiletries, will leverage IMRE’s technology to develop new improved formulations for their products. The company signed a Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA) with IMRE to develop this technology. This agreement is the first of its kind for LION in Singapore. Both organizations are also looking to set up a joint laboratory at IMRE where scientists from IMRE and LION can work on the project together.
Most household products are a mix of surfactants for removing dirt, fragrance enhancers and chemical biocides to kill germs. Some of the surfactants and chemical biocides ultimately leach into the environment through water run-off. IMRE has been working on a host of all-purpose, natural polymers that are more environmentally friendly. The multi-purpose molecule being used in the project is one of more than a hundred proprietary molecules that IMRE has accumulated in its fast-growing polymer bank.
“We are building a library of such multi-purpose molecules that can be pulled out at any time to cater to specific needs of different companies,” says the lead IMRE researcher for the project Dr. Loh Xian Jun, who is also the Program Manager for A*STAR’s Personal Care Program.
Loh explains that the highly stable and customizable base polymer molecule can be “accessorized” with different polymer chains to suit different purposes. Such base polymers form the backbone for a multitude of different molecular combinations that can be tailor-made to suit different functions, from anti-bacteria to fragrance-enhancement.
“LION has been promoting its international operations with a focus on Asia, and we have been keeping our eye on Singapore as a regional R&D hub,” says Dr. Toshio Kakui, Director and Executive Officer of LION Corporation.
The research team expects development of the new formulation to be completed by the second half of 2015.
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