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Sandia's microencapsulation project gives local entrepreneur warm glow
Date:12/17/2008

cking on Schneider's door. Not long ago, Kevin Mallory, owner and president of Formulab, an Albuquerque-based contract manufacturer of personal care products, had an innovative idea for a potentially patentable topical lotion. This lotion requires that two ingredients remain separated until time of use. Mallory, a chemist himself, knew the underlying chemistry for this product was sound. The challenge was: How do you keep the components separated until time of use? There were options: You could bottle the ingredients separately, the way epoxy glues are packaged. A more desirable solution, Mallory thought, would be to use a microencapsulation technique that would allow both active components of the lotion to live together in the same bottle. One or both key ingredients would be encapsulated; only when gently rubbed as when applying a lotion would the encapsulating polymer rupture, releasing the active ingredients inside and allowing the components to combine.

Mallory was convinced he had a winning idea but didn't have the microencapsulation expertise to prove out the concept himself. That's when he turned to Sandia and its Small Business Assistance (NMSBA) program. The folks in the program linked up Mallory with Schneider and Schneider's boss, Mike Kelly. The three talked about Mallory's idea and what he'd like to accomplish. Schneider and Mike agreed that Sandia could help, and Mallory and Schneider began working together.

As Schneider moved ahead on the project, he invited Mallory to come and observe the work in the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT) facility on Eubank Boulevard, just outside the Eubank Gate.

Mallory says his interaction with Sandia was invaluable. "This was like a crash course in microencapsulation; it really accelerated our learning curve. It helped us a tremendous amount," he says.

Mallory characterizes the Sandia relationship as "absolutely fantastic" and, speaking of the NMSBA program says,
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Contact: William T. Murphy
wtmurph@sandia.gov
505-845-0845
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories
Source:Eurekalert

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