Innovative mineral sunscreens for safer and more eco-sustainable protection: the nature-inspired titanium-apatites

# Record card
Thematic areas
Materials / Ceramic materials
Materials / Composite and hybrid materials
Chemicals & Physics
Chemicals & Physics / Subtainable substances and green chemistry
Energy and environmental sustainability
Tourism, social sciences and cultural heritage / Safety and security
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech / Care, Hygiene, Cosmetics

This technology concerns the development of new eco-sustainable UV physical/mineral filters with the aim of offering important innovations per the cosmetic sector. This, encouraged by European initiatives in the Green-Deal context, is constantly looking for new components with improved protection of the human health and the environment. These filters are constituted of particles based on hydroxyapatite (HA), an inorganic calcium-phosphate compound constituting the mineral phase of hard connective tissues such as bones and teeth, and therefore characterized by excellent biocompatibility. They are synthesized by though a nature-inspired biomineralization process which allows to obtain hybrid particles (HA/biopolymer) active in sun protection, totally biodegradable and inert towards organic components (e.g. of creams and collagen of skin) and therefore highly safe and eco-sustainable. This technology will make it possible to develop photo-stable and more effective solar products with limited secondary effects that pay greater attention to the protection of humans and marine ecosystems.

Business fields
Type of innovation
Product innovation
Description of innovative features / Competitive advantages

Between the most innovative aspects offered by this technology: • the biomineralization process used for the synthesis allows the development of particles whose chemical composition and crystallinity degree allow their progressive dissolution in aqueous environments, releasing safe by-products; • the particles have demonstrated the ability to increase the SPF of sunscreen products; • they are photo-stable, preserving the chemical filters from photo-degradation and guaranteeing a high skin tolerance of the product; • their hybrid nature facilitates the formulation of stable sunscreen products and their application on the skin, generating a light film with a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing texture; • in compliance with the rules governing the use of nanomaterials in cosmetics, the morphology of these particles is designed ad-hoc to reduce the risk of permeation of cell membranes. This technology represents a valid, safer and eco-sustainable alternative to traditional physical filters (TiO2 and ZnO), and a concrete opportunity for innovation aimed at greater protection of human health and of the environment.

Reference market
Incremental innovation
Impacts on existing markets
Development stage
New product/process/service/technology
Patentable technology
Patented technology

Europe; PCT

Publication of technology
In publication phase
Technology validation/demonstration
Internal validation
Market positioning
Partner required
Private research center
Seed capital

For more information and/or to be put in contact with the Research Team, please contact the Project Manager:

Barbara Angelini - Project Manager
CNR - Unità Valorizzazione della Ricerca
Phone number 06.49932415