I-Corps: Isosorbide-based Renewabl Humectants to Replace Polyethylene Glycol

  • Jaffe, Michael (PI)

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    This project is focused on producing mesogenic polyesters containing isosorbide. The work has taken two approaches: (1) Introducing isosorbide into known LCP backbone as a "disruptor" for brick dust LCPs such as poly (p-hydroxybenzoic acid); and (2) As part of a hydroxyacid mesogen formed by reacting isosorbide with a suitable mesogen. The mechanism of water uptake in isosorbide compounds was investigated and control of water uptake in these compounds was demonstrated. A result of these studies on how to design hydrophobic isosorbide compounds is a similar understanding of the structure of isosorbide compounds with high and controlled hydrophilicity. This has led to the identification, synthesis and characterization of highly hydrophilic, glycerol linked isosorbide oligomers and polymers as effective replacements for the commonly utilized poly (ethylene glycol, PEG) as a humectant in many personal care, cosmetic and biomedical products. Currently, ethylene glycol and its polymeric forms is an industrial staple. A dominant use is as a reactant, making hydrophobic chemicals hydrophilic. The major forms are polyethylene glycols (PEG) as solvents, emulsifiers, and to enable greater water miscibility(surfactants). Principal markets of use are pharmacy, personal care, paints and inks, oil extraction and grain products (de-dusting). In recent years the trend toward PEG-free products has grown rapidly. Currently a PEG-free solubilization alternative, composed of pentylene glycol with surfactants, is available to help to dissolve lipophilic substances such as perfume, essential oils, active ingredients and vitamins in pure aqueous and aqueous/alcoholic formulations. The isosorbide derivative this project focuses on is a renewable corn-derived material that will perform similarly, but will open a new field of hydrophilicity chemistry because of the unique stereo chemical make-up of this new oligomer.
    Effective start/end date10/1/123/31/13


    • National Science Foundation: $50,000.00


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