Everything about Microspheres
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  • Negatively-charged Yellow Microparticles – Back in Stock

    Highly Negative Charged Microspheres - Polyethylene, Selection of Sizes 5 to 500um

    Highly Negative Charged Microspheres - Polyethylene, Selection of Sizes 5 to 500um, 1.0g/cc

    Cospheric’s neutrally-buoyant highly charged yellow microspheres have a strong negative charge and are used by scientists in medical technology, biotechnology, applied physics and research. Precise particles with known density of 1.0g/cc that behave in a known way are useful as a model particles in simulation experiments.  Particles in a range of diameters from 5micron to 500micron(0.5mm) are currently back in stock.

    Bright yellow polymer microparticles of high sphericity are spherical polyethylene beads that are specifically designed with density ~1.0g/cc for suspension in fresh water,  serving as seed or tracer particles and enabling flow visualization and Particle Image Velocimetry PIV analysis of fluid flow in a device. It is often advantageous to color code the particles by size to better understand which part of the process the spheres of the specific size were able to pass through, or where the contamination in the process is coming from. Microspheres are supplied in dry powder form and are color stable in solution. No solvents are used in the manufacturing process. Polyethylene is inert to most solvents.

    Cospheric also offers unique capability to manufacture Bichromal janus microspheres and microparticles with partial coatings and potentially dual functionality. Currently half-shell or hemispherical coatings can be applied to any sphere (glass, polymer, ceramic) in sizes 45micron in diameter and higher. Coatings can be customized for any color and coverage of between 20% to 60% of the sphere. Each coating is custom formulated for color, charge, magnetic, electric, and surface properties, and solvent resistance per customers’ needs. Hemispherical coatings of less than 1 micron with tolerances as low as 0.25 micron have been routinely demonstrated.  Color combinations are truly unlimited. White, black, silver, blue, green, red, yellow, brown, purple as well as transparent microspheres have been made. Sphericity of greater than 90% and custom particle size ranges are offered.

    It would be interesting to combine these highly charged yellow microspheres with a partial paramagnetic black coating and investigate the behavior of these spheres in electromagnetic field.

  • FDA-Approved Microspheres

    What makes a microsphere FDA-approved?

    In order to tell whether the microsphere can be used in cosmetics, food, or medical devices it is important to look at the raw materials that are incorporated into the microsphere during manufacturing process.  For example, unpigmented or clear polyethylene microspheres supplied by Cospheric in sizes from 10 micron to 1000 micron meet the quality requirements of the US FDA as specified in 21 CFR 172.888 and 21 CFR 178.3720.  Specific grade of polyethylene used in manufacturing of these microspheres is  FDA-approved for food applications in chewing gum base, on cheese and raw fruits and vegetables, and as a defoamer in food.

    Color additives are subject to a strict system of approval under U.S. law (FD&C Act), sec. 721; 21 U.S.C. 379e. Color additive violations are a common reason for detaining imported cosmetic products offered for entry into this country. If a product contains a color additive, by law [FD&C Act, Sec. 721; 21 U.S.C. 379e; 21 CFR Parts 70 and 80] you must adhere to requirements for:

    • Approval. All color additives used in cosmetics (or any other FDA-regulated product) must be approved by FDA. There must be a regulation specifically addressing a substance’s use as a color additive, specifications, and restrictions.
    • Certification. In addition to approval, a number of color additives must be batch certified by FDA if they are to be used in cosmetics (or any other FDA-regulated product) marketed in the U.S.
    • Identity and specifications. All color additives must meet the requirements for identity and specifications stated in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
    • Use and restrictions. Color additives may be used only for the intended uses stated in the regulations that pertain to them. The regulations also specify other restrictions for certain colors, such as the maximum permissible concentration in the finished product.

    Continue reading “FDA-Approved Microspheres” »

  • Microspheres: Technologies and Global Markets

    An extensive market research report titled Microspheres: Technologies and Global Markets was recently published by BCC Research marketing firm. The microspheres report examines the spherical microparticles used as components in many advanced materials and composites, in the healthcare and personal care industries, and in many specialty research and development applications. The report estimates the size of the microsphere industry worldwide and makes predictions on a 5-year compound annual growth rate of the microsphere market.

    The global market for microspheres in 2010 is estimated to be $2 billion and growing at a 5–year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6%, reaching global sales of $3.5 billion by 2015.

    The use of microspheres in medical technology is a relatively new and evolving industry that will see an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.5% over the next 5 years. This sector is valued at $481 million in 2010 and is expected to reach $1.4 billion by 2015.

    BCC’s analysis suggests that microspheres will see significantly increased demand in the life–sciences markets, which include medicine and biotechnology. The life sciences sector is worth an estimated $203 million in 2010 and is expected to increase at a 9.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $317 million in 2015.

    The key objective of compiling a market research report on microspheres was to present a comprehensive analysis of the global market for microspheres, including analysis of  supply and demand for microspheres across various industries and geographic regions. The report also includes a technical description of a wide variety of types of microspheres available on the market, as well as relevant industries, technologies and applications.
    • Describes demand for microspheres in six major industries: composites; paints and coatings; oil and gas; cosmetics and personal care; biotechnology and life sciences; and medicine and medical devices.
    • Analyses the demand for 2009 and 2010 and forecasts sales over the next 5 years by industry, type of microspheres, and geographic location.
    • Describes different types of microspheres with respect to their chemical composition, including glass, ceramic, and polymer microspheres, and unique material properties that make them suitable for specific industries and applications.
    • Provides detailed descriptions of major players in the market and their product portfolios.
    • Identifies areas of the market that are expected to experience the highest growth in demand.
    • Discusses the history and structure of the industry, technologies, and factors influencing pricing, supply and demand.
    • Reviews price trends and the relationship between price, quality, end–use application and functionality in the microsphere industry.
    • Examines recent advances in technology, newly evolving markets and companies, as well other factors influencing supply.

    This report can be purchased from BCC Research.

    Report Code: AVM073A, Published: November 2010, Analyst: Yelena Lipovetskaya

  • Silica Microspheres – 6 micron mean Diameter

    Silica Microspheres 4-8um Mean Diameter  200x MagnificationProperties

    Silica is a chemically stable inorganic synthetic material.   It has the benefit of providing no irritation to human skin.  Silica is essentially transparent, colorless and promote a high degree of slip in products.  The skin feel is generally lubricious in nature.   Spherical silica imparts exceptional lubricity to loose and pressed powder products. The effect is increased ‘play time’ and a luxurious feel.  Spherical products with mean particle size between 3 to 10 micron will scatter light on the surface of its particle, ie which are transparent, but give natural coverage.

    • Properties :
      - Hollow and porous spherical powder
      - Uniform size distribution
      - Excellent dispersibility
      - Good oil absorbancy
      - Good fluidity
    • Applications :
      - Emulsion products
      - Makeup products
      - Anticaking agent
      - Additive carrier and perfume carrier
    • Available with Optional Silicone Coating (Dimethylpolysiloxane)
      - Increases Hydrophobicity
      - Transparent
      - Resistant to acid, alkalis, UV and moisture

    Silica Microspheres are available for purchase at Cospheric in R&D quantities or bulk.

  • Solid Polyethylene Microspheres for Effects in Color Cosmetics

    A recent article in Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine describes the use Solid Polyethylene Mirospheres for Effects in Color Cosmetics.

    Flesh Tone Microspheres - Color Matched to Skin Sample

    Flesh Tone Microspheres - Color Matched to Skin Sample

    Micropsheres have been used in cosmetics for some time, primarily as fillers and exfoliators. Most recently scientists started to utilize light reflecting properties of microspheres for creating unique optical effects, such as optical blurring and wrinkle filling.  Due to light scattering effects of the spherical surface, formulating with appropriate microspheres can minimize the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin tone, due to optically reducing contrast on the skin.

    The spherical shape and smooth surface of microspheres creates a low friction ball-bearing effect that gives formulations an elegant, silky feel. This ball-bearing effect promotes better blending on the skin and a more natural finish due to the enhanced slip, glide and omnidirectional spreadability, imparting a cream to powder texture. Outstanding roundness also provides lubrication during application, which enhances the tactile experience of a cosmetic product. Continue reading “Solid Polyethylene Microspheres for Effects in Color Cosmetics” »