Column (Professor Mitsuru Shoji)

(1) Highly functional and earth-friendly materials

The basic skeleton of Amino Clay is a plate-like structure composed of silicon, oxygen, zinc, magnesium, etc., with hydrophilic amino groups lined up on one side of a plate several hundred nanometers on each side. The electrostatic interaction between these plates forms a multi-layered structure that destroys the “shell” of bacteria and viruses and exhibits antibacterial and antiviral effects. Surprisingly, this effect was found to last for about a month.

Amino clay can incorporate water molecules and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) between its multi-layered plates. As this plate peels off little by little, the molecules trapped inside are gradually released, and the moisturizing and antioxidant power lasts for a long time. Taking advantage of the ability of molecules to move in and out of amino clay, we have created shampoos containing several types of vitamins, antioxidants, and moisturizing ingredients, as well as treatments, body soaps, facial cleansing foams, serums, and amino clays. A cream with a sunscreen effect has been developed in which the constituent metal atoms are replaced with cerium. In the future, it is expected that amino clay loaded with various substances will be developed as a functional material.

Nanocapsule technology, which is currently under development, is generally a method of encapsulating compounds in nanoscale spherical capsules, transporting them to target sites, and then releasing them. One of the weak points of nanocapsules is that the amount of material that can be carried is small compared to the amount of material that constitutes the capsule. On the other hand, Amino Clay takes advantage of its plate-like and layered structure to take in a much larger amount of substances.

Amino Clay has excellent functions, and its safety to the human body has been recognized by a third-party organization. In addition, amino clay is water-soluble, so it dissolves easily in water, and as it is biodegradable in the natural world, it eventually returns to nature, so it is said that the burden on the environment is small. Highly functional and eco-friendly, Amino Clay is attracting attention.

②Materials in demand now

In order to prevent the spread of virus infection, temperature measurement, wearing a mask, washing hands and hand disinfection are indispensable every day. The virus is so small that it cannot be seen with the naked eye, and many people wash their hands and disinfect frequently out of fear that they may have come into contact with the virus without knowing it. When I go out, there are bottles for disinfection everywhere, such as at the entrance of buildings and shops, and every time I see them, I give them a push.

This is fine from a hygiene point of view, but the main ingredient in disinfectants is alcohol, which dissolves the oils that prevent the skin from drying out. Additionally, alcohol has its downsides, like it can irritate your skin if you're sensitive to it.

In the first place, the reason why you need to use alcohol disinfection frequently is because alcohol, which is a disinfectant ingredient, quickly evaporates and disappears from the place where it is applied. Therefore, there was a demand for the development of ingredients that are "sustainable in sterilization and virus inactivation effects," are "safe for the human body," and have "low environmental impact." It can be said that Save ME Amino Clay satisfies all three of these conditions.

In addition, nano-sized plate-shaped amino clay has moisturizing power. I think this fits the image of mille-feuille-like amino clay falling apart to take in water and retain moisture. Fortunately, amino clay can be used not only on the skin, but also on cloth and leather products such as beds, sofas, and tables, and it has been found that the sterilization and virus inactivation effects last for about a month.

Amino clay breaks the "kara" of bacteria and viruses and exerts its effect. In addition, the active ingredient does not easily volatilize, and the molecular structure has a long-lasting effect. The safety of Amino Clay to the human body has been recognized by a third-party organization, and the fact that it has a low impact on the environment makes us happy. Furthermore, the decisive factor in choosing this product is the company's attitude toward the environment, such as using kraft pouches and biodegradable plastics that decompose in nature for the product packaging and packaging materials. Isn't it?

It can be said that Amino Clay is a product that satisfies the conditions required for current disinfectants, such as "durability of effect", "safety" and "environmental consideration".

Professor Mitsuru Shoji
[Professor, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Yokohama University of Pharmacy, Director of Drug Discovery Research Center]

1994 Graduated from Department of Chemistry II, Faculty of Science, Tohoku University 1996 Completed Master's Program in Chemistry II, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University 1999 Completed Doctoral Program in Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University (Science)”
1999 Postdoctoral Fellow at Scripps Research Institute, USA 2001 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering, Tokyo University of Science 2006 Lecturer, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University 2009 Associate Professor, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Keio University