The patent's inventors are Knowland,
This patent was filed on
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "The present invention relates to UV screening compositions, methods for their preparation and their use. The invention in particular relates to, for example, compositions comprising particulate oxides, their preparation and their use as, for example, paints, plastics, coatings, pigments, dyes and compositions for topical application, in particular, for example, sunscreens.
"The effects associated with exposure to sunlight are well known. For example, painted surfaces may become discoloured and exposure of skin to UVA and UVB light may result in, for example, sunburn, premature ageing and skin cancer.
"Commercial sunscreens generally contain components which are able to reflect and/or absorb UV light. These components include, for example, inorganic oxides such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
"Titanium dioxide in sunscreens is generally formulated as 'micronised' or 'ultrafine' (20-50 nm) particles (so-called microreflectors) because they scatter light according to Rayleigh's Law, whereby the intensity of scattered light is inversely proportional to the fourth power of the wavelength. Consequently, they scatter UVB light (with a wavelength of from 290 to 320 nm) and UVA light (with a wavelength of from 320 to 400 nm) more than the longer, visible wavelengths, preventing sunburn whilst remaining invisible on the skin.
"However, titanium dioxide also absorbs UV light efficiently, catalysing the formation of superoxide and hydroxyl radicals which may initiate oxidations. The crystalline forms of TiO.sub.2, anatase and rutile, are semiconductors with band gap energies of about 3.23 and 3.06 eV respectively, corresponding to light of about 385 nm and 400 nm (1 eV corresponds to 8066 cm.sup.-1).
"An incident photon is absorbed by titanium dioxide if its energy is greater than the semiconductor band gap Eg shown in FIG. 1. As a result an electron from the valence band (vb) is promoted into the conduction band (cb) (transition ). If the energy of the incident photon is less than Eg it will not be absorbed as this would require that the electron be promoted to within the band gap and this energy state is forbidden. Once promoted, the electron relaxes to the bottom of the conduction band (transition ) with the excess energy being emitted as heat to the crystal lattice.
"When the electron is promoted it leaves behind a hole which acts as a positive particle in the valence band. Both the electron and the hole are then free to migrate around the titanium dioxide particle. The electron and hole may recombine emitting a photon of energy equal to the band gap energy. However, the lifetime of the electron/hole pair is quite long due to the specific nature of the electronic band structure. Thus there is sufficient time (ca. 10.sup.-11 s) for the electron and hole to migrate to the surface and react with absorbed species.
"In aqueous environments, the electrons react with oxygen, and the holes with hydroxyl ions or water, forming superoxide and hydroxyl radicals: TiO.sub.2+h.upsilon..fwdarw.TiO.sub.2(e.sup.-/h.sup.+).fwdarw.e.sup.-(cb)- +h.sup.+(vb) e.sup.-(cb)+O.sub.2.fwdarw.O.sub.2..sup.-.fwdarw.HO..sub.2 h.sup.+(vb)+OH..fwdarw..OH
"This has been studied extensively in connection with total oxidation of environmental pollutants, especially with anatase, the more active form [A. Sclafani et al., J.Phys. Chem., (1996), 100, 13655-13661].
"It has been proposed that such photo-oxidations may explain the ability of illuminated titanium dioxide to attack biological molecules. Sunscreen titanium dioxide particles are often coated with compounds such as alumina, silica and zirconia which form hydrated oxides which can capture hydroxyl radicals and may therefore reduce surface reactions. However, some TiO.sub.2/Al.sub.2O.sub.3 and TiO.sub.2/SiO.sub.2 preparations exhibit enhanced activity [
"As titanium dioxide may enter human cells, the ability of illuminated titanium dioxide to cause DNA damage has also recently been a matter of investigation. It has been shown that particulate titanium dioxide as extracted from sunscreens and pure zinc oxide will, when exposed to illumination by a solar simulator, give rise to DNA damage both in vitro and in human cells [
"The present invention provides UV screening compositions which address the problems described above and are less liable to produce DNA damage on illumination than conventional sunscreen compositions."
Supplementing the background information on this patent, NewsRx reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention accordingly provides UV screening compositions comprising particles which are capable of absorbing UV light, especially UV light having a wavelength below 390 nm, so that electrons and positively charged holes are formed within the particles, characterised in that the particles are adapted to minimise migration to the surface of the particles of the electrons and/or the positively charged holes when said particles are exposed to UV light in an aqueous environment. It is believed that under these circumstances the production of hydroxyl radicals is substantially reduced. Thus the production of hydroxyl radicals may be substantially prevented.
"The minimisation of migration to the surface of the particles of the electrons and/or the positively charged holes may be tested by, for example, looking for a reduction in the number of strand breaks inflicted on DNA by light in the presence of particles or UV screening compositions according to the present invention, as compared with the number of strand breaks observed in DNA on treatment with particles used in conventional sunscreen compositions and light, or light alone.
"The compositions according to the present invention may find application as paints, plastics, coatings, pigments, dyes and are particularly favoured for use in compositions for topical application, especially, for example, sunscreens.
"The average primary particle size of the particles is generally from about 1 to 200 nm, for example about 50 to 150 nm, preferably from about 1 to 100 nm, more preferably from about 1 to 50 nm and most preferably from about 20 to 50 nm. For example, in sunscreens the particle size is preferably chosen to avoid colouration of the final product. For this purpose particles of about 50 nm or less may be preferred especially, for example, particles of about 3 to 20 nm, preferably about 3 to 10 nm, more preferably about 3 to 5 nm.
"Where particles are substantially spherical then particle size will be taken to represent the diameter. However, the invention also encompasses particles which are non-spherical and in such cases the particle size refers to the largest dimension.
"In a first embodiment the present invention provides UV screening compositions comprising particles which contain luminescence trap sites and/or killer sites. By luminescence trap sites and killer sites will be understood foreign ions designed to trap the electrons and positively charged holes and therefore inhibit migration.
"These particles may be, for example, reduced zinc oxide particles, especially reduced zinc oxide particles of from about 100 to 200 nm in size or smaller, for example, from about 20 to 50 nm.
"Such reduced zinc oxide particles may be readily obtained by heating zinc oxide particles which absorb UV light, especially UV light having a wavelength below 390 nm, and reemit in the UV in a reducing atmosphere to obtain reduced zinc oxide particles which absorb UV light, especially UV light having a wavelength below 390 nm, and reemit in the green, preferably at about 500 nm. It will be understood that the reduced zinc oxide particles will contain reduced zinc oxide consistent with minimising migration to the surface of the particles of electrons and/or positively charged holes such that when said particles are exposed to UV light in an aqueous environment the production of hydroxyl radicals is substantially reduced as discussed above.
"The zinc oxide is preferably heated in an atmosphere of about 10% hydrogen and about 90% nitrogen by volume, e.g. at about 800.degree. C. and for about 20 minutes.
"It is believed that the reduced zinc oxide particles possess an excess of Zn.sup.2+ ions within the absorbing core. These are localised states and as such may exist within the band gap. Transitions  and  may occur as shown in FIG. 1. However, the electron and hole may then relax to the excess Zn.sup.2+ states (transition ) as shown in FIG. 2. Thus the electrons and holes may be trapped so that they cannot migrate to the surface of the particles and react with absorbed species. The electrons and holes may then recombine at the Zn.sup.2+ states (transition ) accompanied by the release of a photon with an energy equivalent to the difference in the energy levels.
"Alternatively, particles of the present invention may comprise a host lattice incorporating a second component to provide luminescence trap sites and/or killer sites. The host lattice may be preferably selected from oxides, especially, for example, TiO.sub.2 and ZnO, or for example, phosphates, titanates, silicates, aluminates, oxysilicates, tungstates and molybdenates. The second component may, for example, be selected according to criteria such as ionic size. Second components suitable for use according to the present invention may, for example, be selected from nickel, iron, chromium, copper, tin, aluminium, lead, silver, zirconium, manganese, zinc, cobalt and gallium ions. Preferably the second component is selected from iron, chromium, manganese and gallium ions in the 3+ state. Preferred particles according to the present invention comprise a titanium dioxide host lattice doped with manganese ions in the 3+ state.
"The optimum amount of the second component in the host lattice may be determined by routine experimentation. It will be appreciated that the amount of the second component may depend on the use of the UV screening composition. For example, in UV screening compositions for topical application, it may be desirable for the amount of the second component in the host lattice to be low so that the particles are not coloured. In the case of titanium dioxide doped with manganese ions in the 3+ state, 0.5% manganese in the titanium dioxide host lattice has been shown to be effective in reducing the rate of DNA damage inflicted by simulated sunlight. However, amounts as low as 0.1% or less, for example 0.05%, or as high as 1% or above, for example 5% or 10%, may also be used.
"The dopant ions may be incorporated into the host lattice by a baking technique typically at from 600.degree. C. to 1000.degree. C. Thus, for example, these particles may be obtained in a known manner by combining a host lattice with a second component to provide luminescence trap sites and/or killer sites.
"It is envisaged that the mechanism of de-excitation for these particles is as described above for the reduced zinc particles.
"In a further embodiment the present invention provides UV screening compositions comprising particles which comprise a population of coated nanoparticles of a metal oxide. The metal oxide is preferably titanium dioxide. The coating is typically a wide band gap material and is preferably a surfactant selected from trioctylphosphine oxide [TOPO] and sodium hexametaphosphate [(NaPO.sub.3).sub.6]. The nanoparticles are generally from 1 to 10 nm in size and possibly from 1 to 5 nm in size.
"It has been found that the nanoparticles may be obtained by dissolving a titanium salt, preferably titanium (IV) chloride, in an alcohol. The alcohol is generally selected from methanol, ethanol, propanol and butanol. Preferably the alcohol is methanol or propanol. The dehydrating properties of the alcohol may help to inhibit formation of the hydroxide phase. A surfactant is added to bind to the titanium ions and form a surface layer. Typically the ratio of titanium ions to surfactant is 1:1.
"The pH of the solution is then monitored while a solution of sodium hydroxide in alcohol, preferably a 1M solution in methanol, is added dropwise until the oxide nanoparticles precipitate. The alcohol is evaporated so that the oxide particles flocculate. The particles may be washed to remove excess surfactant and the remaining alcohol is then evaporated to leave the titanium dioxide nanoparticles as a powder. Preparation of the nanoparticles is generally carried out in an inert atmosphere, preferably an atmosphere of nitrogen or argon. A population of the nanoparticles may then be combined to form the larger particles of the present invention.
"On absorption of UV light the electrons and holes produced may be confined to a specific nanoparticle within the particles of the present invention thus minimising migration of the electrons and/or the holes to the surface of the particles. The nanoparticles may also be beneficial in that the rate of recombination of the electrons and holes may be increased. The electrons and holes may recombine with the emission of a photon of energy equal to the band gap as shown in FIG. 3.
"The particles of the present invention may have an inorganic or organic coating. For example, the particles may be coated with oxides of elements such as aluminium, zirconium or silicon. The particles of metal oxide may also be coated with one or more organic materials such as polyols, amines, alkanolamines, polymeric organic silicon compounds, for example, RSi[OSi(Me).sub.2xOR.sup.1].sub.3 where R is C.sub.1-C.sub.10 alkyl, R.sup.1 is methyl or ethyl and x is an integer of from 4 to 12, hydrophilic polymers such as polyacrylamide, polyacrylic acid, carboxymethyl cellulose and xanthan gum or surfactants such as, for example, TOPO.
"As indicated above, compositions of the invention may be used in a wide range of applications where UV screening is desired, but are particularly preferred for topical application. The compositions for topical application may be, for example, cosmetic compositions, compositions for protecting the hair, or preferably sunscreens. Compositions of the present invention may be employed as any conventional formulation providing protection from UV light.
"In compositions for topical application, the metal oxides are preferably present at a concentration of about 0.5 to 10% by weight, preferably about 3 to 8% by weight and more preferably about 5 to 7% by weight. Such compositions may comprise one or more of the compositions of the present invention.
"The compositions for topical application may be in the form of lotions, e.g. thickened lotions, gels, vesicular dispersions, creams, milks, powders, solid sticks and may be optionally packaged as aerosols and provided in the form of foams or sprays.
"The compositions may contain, for example, fatty substances, organic solvents, silicones, thickeners, demulcents, other UVA, UVB or broad-band sunscreen agents, antifoaming agents, moisturizing agents, perfumes, preservatives, surface-active agents, fillers, sequesterants, anionic, cationic, nonionic or amphoteric polymers or mixtures thereof, propellants, alkalizing or acidifying agents, colorants and metal oxide pigments with a particle size of from 100 nm to 20000 nm such as iron oxides.
"The organic solvents may be selected from lower alcohols and polyols such as ethanol, isopropanol, propylene glycol, glycerin and sorbitol.
"The fatty substances may consist of an oil or wax or mixture thereof, fatty acids, fatty acid esters, fatty alcohols, vaseline, paraffin, lanolin, hydrogenated lanolin or acetylated lanolin.
"The oils may be selected from animal, vegetable, mineral or synthetic oils and especially hydrogenated palm oil, hydrogenated castor oil, vaseline oil, paraffin oil, Purcellin oil, silicone oil and isoparaffin.
"The waxes may be selected from animal, fossil, vegetable, mineral or synthetic waxes. Such waxes include beeswax, Carnauba, Candelilta, sugar cane or
"The fatty acid esters are, for example, isopropyl myristate, isopropyl adipate, isopropyl palmitate, octyl palmitate, C.sub.12-C.sub.15 fatty alcohol benzoates ('FINSOLV TN' from FINETEX), oxypropylenated myristic alcohol containing 3 moles of propylene oxide ('WITCONOL APM' from WITCO), capric and caprylic acid triglycerides ('MIGLYOL 812' from HULS).
"The compositions may also contain thickeners which may be selected from cross-linked or non cross-linked acrylic acid polymers, and particularly polyacrylic acids which are cross-linked using a polyfunctional agent, such as the products sold under the name 'CARBOPOL' by the company GOODRICH, cellulose, derivatives such as methylcellulose, hydroxymethylcellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, sodium salts of carboxymethyl cellulose, or mixtures of cetylstearyl alcohol and oxyethylenated cetylstearyl alcohol containing 33 moles of ethylene oxide.
"When the compositions of the present invention are sunscreens they may be in a form of suspensions or dispersions in solvents or fatty substances or as emulsions such as creams or milks, in the form of ointments, gels, solid sticks or aerosol foams. The emulsions may further contain anionic, nonionic, cationic or amphoteric surface-active agents. They may also be provided in the form of vesicular dispersions of ionic or nonionic amphiphilic lipids prepared according to known processes.
"In another aspect the present invention provides a method for preparing the compositions of the present invention which comprises associating the particles described above with a carrier.
"In another aspect the present invention provides particles comprising a host lattice incorporating a second component to provide luminescence trap sites and/or killer sites.
"In a further aspect the present invention provides particles which comprise a population of coated nanoparticles of a metal oxide."
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Knowland,
Keywords for this news article include: Anions, Alcohols,
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