Sunscreens Based on Phenolic-Formaldehyde Particles

Technology #ua16-230

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Douglas Loy
Professor, Materials Sci and Engineering
Managed By
Paul Eynott
Sr. Licensing Manager (520) 621-2878

Title: Novel Material for Sunscreen - Thermoset Particles Made From Micro Emulsion Polymerization


Invention: Sun-protective polymeric particles using a micro emulsion polymerization of by nucleation approach. The resulting resorcinol-formaldehyde is red to brown in color with strong absorption of UVA and UVB radiation, making it an ideal material for sunscreen. Resorcinol-formaldehyde has been widely used in endodontic treatments, commonly known as “Russian Red”.


Background: Sunscreen products in the market today are typically made of potentially harmful chemicals, including avobenzone, which releases cancer-causing free radicals, and oxybenzone, which has estrogenic properties highly absorbed by human skin (Isabella Karlsson, 2009; Steven Q. Wang, et al., 2011). Instead of protecting us from sun damages, sunscreen products may actually increase cancer risks. Therefore, the inventors set out to create non-leaching sunscreen that is safe for human use.



  • Used for making sunscreen and other skin products
  • Thermosets with sun-blocking effects



  • Inexpensive
  • Abundant raw materials
  • Non-leaching thermoset, as opposed to highly leaching toxic chemical compounds


Licensing Manager:

Paul Eynott

(520) 471-2687