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London South Bank University spin-out company’s skin-testing device a revelation for cosmetics industry

Physicists from a London South Bank University (LSBU) spin-out company will travel to America next week to launch a skin-testing device which promises better performances from moisturisers, shampoos and suncreams.

Professor Bob Imhof, chairman of Biox Systems, will unveil the firm’s latest AquaFlux product – the AF200 – at the International Society for Biophysics and Skin Imaging conference in Atlanta, Georgia on October 14.

The AquaFlux is a hand-held electronic instrument which measures water vapour loss when it is placed on patch of skin. The readings show how good the skin barrier is – a vital indicator of skin health. “When testers require data on the effectiveness of a new shaving or cleansing product, for example, they measure the skin’s barrier property before and after the product has been applied,” Professor Imhof explained. “The AquaFlux tells you whether the skin condition has been improved or whether the barrier has been damaged by that product.”

The new AF200 – with its improved ergonomics and enhanced capability for measuring TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss) – is expected to be in high demand from cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies. “We also see the AquaFlux as having the potential for measuring sweat so that could open up other markets for us,” Professor Imhof said. “Possible applications may include athletic performance, breathable fabrics, wound dressings, even lie detecting.”

Biox Systems was founded in 2002 with £40,000 from LSBU and the London Business Innovation Centre. “The support we’ve had from the University’s commercial arm has been absolutely vital to our development,” Professor Imhof said. “We’re also planning a number of other products and are keen to attract further investment to take us forward.”

Phil Smith | alfa
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