University partnership helps reduce irritants in skin products

Aintree-based RB Healthcare Ltd has reaped the benefits of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership facilitated by the University of Bradford.

RB Healthcare Ltd has managed to reduce the irritancy potential of its skin product formulation by developing a new in vitro (test-tube experiment) modelling strategy to understand how topical formulations can impact on healthy and compromised skin.

The work comes after RB participated in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) facilitated by the University of Bradford, which saw the company work hand-in-hand with Prof Des Tobin and his colleagues.

The partnership provided the company with the opportunity to acquire new skills and techniques in skin and hair-associated product development which resulted in a competitive advantage in the personal care field.

It also helped the University gain new knowledge in human 3D epidermis, a greater understanding of toxicology issues relating to personal care products and ingredient insight for skin products formulation. Prof Des Tobin and colleagues are now continuing to develop research relationships with the company.

“The KTP project brought the business into contact with a world class skin expert, Prof Des Tobin. His valuable knowledge has helped guide the company’s developments within and outside the scope of the project,” Scott Seville, technology and innovation manager - germ protection and personal care RB Healthcare (UK) Ltd.

The project aligned perfectly with a recent shift in focus to the Health and Hygiene pillars, which are 2 of RB’s strategic pillars. RB aimed to improve its capabilities by increasing speed and lowering costs for in vitro skin irritancy testing methods.

The KTP helped the business develop an understanding of the available capabilities and methods that they can apply to future new developments in those fields.

It also resulted in RB developing Standard Operating procedures (SOP’s) that will inform future in vitro testing techniques by guiding decisions on appropriate tests for the product and properties being studied.

This knowledge will help RB reduce errors, chose appropriate business partners, and interpret test results to contribute to remaining at the forefront of a rapidly changing landscape of in vitro testing.

KTP’s have been running for more than 40 years and help businesses improve productivity and performance to stay competitive.

On average, each project delivers an increase of £600,000 in pre-tax profit a few years after the project, two new jobs and 20 staff trained for the host company.

For more information on how you could benefit from a KTP with the University of Bradford, visit the website here.