Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends
How new technologies are modifying our way of life

samedi 8 mai 2004

Cosmetics companies are always launching new products. And they are increasingly turning to nanotechnology to improve these new cosmetics. For example, L'Oréal introduced nanocapsules in its products since 1995. These nanocapsules release their active components when the skin's enzymes dissolve their envelopes. Now the company wants to closely look to your individual skin. It has developed a sensor on a chip, the SkinChip, in collaboration with STMicroelectronics. In "Skin Science," ScienCentral News says that the SkinChip takes very detailed images of your skin, up to the nanoscale level. The company hopes that it will help to tailor its products to individual customers.

Here are some details about this sensor.

L'Oréal is working on getting a closer look at what's going on under your skin. Physicist Frederic Leroy, director of the Physics Department in the Advanced Research Laboratory at L'Oréal, has helped designed a sensor on a computer chip that allows him to see skin's structure. He says this new, highly detailed view will help his research team learn more about skin, and exactly what kind of care is best.
Called the SkinChip sensor, Leroy's chip is based on STMicroelectronics' TouchChip silicon image sensor technology, which was developed for biometric fingerprint recognition. To observe the surface of someone’s skin, the SkinChip can capture detailed 500 dots-per-inch images in less than one tenth of a second.
The SkinChip in action Here is the SkinChip in action (Credit: STMicroelectronics press release, October 18, 2002).
How skin looks like through the SkinChip And here is how skin looks through the SkinChip sensor (Credit: ScienCentral News, L'Oréal).

And what's the future? Hair and nails.

Leroy hopes his in-depth approach will help make cosmetics that work better for each customer. He says the SkinChip also can study the structure of hair and nails. "These devices are interesting," he says, "because they give the opportunity to increase our knowledge of hair and skin. Once we improve our knowledge of hair, skin, and nail structure and their chemical composition, we can develop new technologies, new cosmetic ingredients which will better enhance the properties of hair and skin."

If it goes well, you'll soon be sure to buy cosmetics that really works for you, "parce que vous le valez bien."

Source: Karen Lurie, ScienCentral News, May 6, 2004

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