Sunscreens Based on Phenolic-Formaldehyde Particles

Case ID:

Sun-protective polymeric particles using a micro emulsion polymerization by nucleation approach have been developed by researchers at the University of Arizona. 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."


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. Instead of protecting us from sun damages, sunscreen products may actually increase cancer risks. This led the inventors to create a 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
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Tariq Ahmed
Sr Licensing Manager, College of Engineering
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Douglas Loy
Robb Bagge
Nanayakkarawasan Pallage Nanayakkara