94388 - Biomaterials, Pigments and Sunscreens in Cosmetics

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Marco Montalti

  • Learning modules Marco Montalti (Modulo 1)
    Simona Fermani (Modulo 2)

  • Credits 12

  • SSD CHIM/03

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures (Modulo 1)
    Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)

  • Language English

  • Campus of Rimini

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Advanced Cosmetic Sciences (cod. 9225)

  • Course Timetable from Oct 11, 2022 to Dec 20, 2022

    Course Timetable from Sep 28, 2022 to Dec 05, 2022

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

Because of the frequency and after passing the final exam of the course “Biomaterials, pigments and sunscreens in cosmetic formulations”, the student -has acquired knowledge of the structure, properties and application of the main biocompatible macromolecules used in cosmetics; -knowledge of the basic elements of kinetic and thermodynamic stability of colloidal systems like dispersions and emulsions; -knowledge on the main photochemical and photophysical processes and of the optical processes at the base of color production and perception; -knowledge on the cosmetics oxidative processes under solar radiation and the main skin protection strategies; -can understand the role of surfactants and additives in cosmetic formulations;- understand the properties of dyes and pigment and assess the best approaches for their dispersion; -can select optimal strategies for photoprotection of the skin and the development of photosafe cosmetics; -can apply the gained knowledge to real problems as well as to new issues related to biomaterials, pigments and sunscreens in cosmetic formulations.

Course contents

MODULE 1 (teacher Marco Montalti)

Part 1A. Color, light, pigments and dyes

Definition and classification of cosmetics

The role of light and colors in cosmetics

Color cosmetics. Examples of make-up products: properties of Lipstiks and Facial fundations.

Properties of light and colored materials

Human vision and color properties.

Light matter-interaction: reflectance, refraction, interference, absorption and emission.

Structural color: pearls and lusters pigments

Dyes and pigments in cosmetics

Organic and inorganic pigments. White black and colored pigments

Part 1B. Photophysics and photochemistry

Photophysical and photochemical properties of molecular dyes..

Ground and excited electronic states

Photophysical and photochemical processes. Radiative and non-radiative processes. Photoreactions

Photochemistry in cosmetics: Photostability, photodegradation and phototoxicity

PART 2. Emulsions and dispersions

Interface energy. Effect on emulsion stability.

Surfactants, chemical composition and effect on interface energy

Self-assembly of surfactant. Micelles and their properties

Light scattering based techniques for investigating micellar systems.

Other forms of surfactant super-structures: liquid crystals, properties and applications.

Kinetic and thermodynamic stabilization of emulsions

Microemulsions definition and properties

Nanoemulsions and their properties

General properties of emulsions and emulsifiers

Suspensions. Definition and methods for their production and stabilization

Rheology. Basic principles and applications

Part 3. Photoprotection

-Biological effects of visible and Infrared Radiation

-Photoprotection and Photoageing

-Sunscreen Product exposure

-Nanotechnologies for the photoprotection

MODULE 2 (Teacher: Simona Fermani)

Definition, classification, general properties and application fields of biomaterials.

Mechanical properties and main mechanical tests in biomaterials applications.

Structure and properties of the main classes of biopolymers used in cosmetics:

Polysaccharides: homopolysaccarides (cellulose, chitin and chitosan, starch, glycogen) heteropolysaccarides (alginic acid or alginate, carrageenans) and glycosamminoglycans (hyaluronic acid or hyaluronate, keratan sulfate, chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate, heparin/heparan sulfate).

Amino acids, globular and fibrous proteins (collagen, elastin, keratin, silk fibroin)


Polymeric biomaterials:

Molecular, structural and thermal properties of polymers.

Main classes of polymeric biomaterials (synthetic polyamides, polyesters, polyolefins, polyurethanes, polyacrylates, natural and synthetic gum).

Hydrogels: classification, properties and preparation.

Ceramic biomaterials: structure and properties of hydroxyapatite.

Interaction phenomena between the biomaterial surface and the biological environment.


Indications about reference texts (all available in the main libraries) will be done during the course. Papers and review articles will be also provided.

For Module 1, Part 3

-Steven Q. Wang, Henry W. Lim, Principles and Practice of Photoprotection, Adis Ed., Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016. E-Book available for UNIBO users

For Module 2

J. B. Park, R. S. Lakes. “Biomaterials: an Introduction”, 2nd edition Plenum Press, New York. ISBN 10: 1441922814 ISBN 13: 9781441922816

R. Barbucci, “Integrated Biomaterials Science”, Kluver Academic/plenum Publishers, New York, 2002. ISBN 978-0-306-47583-2

Teaching methods

Classroom lectures will be given

Assessment methods

Oral exams will evaluate the students ability on theoretical and practical knowledge in the course subject.

Teaching tools

Power point presentations used during the lessons and any research material will be provided to the students in electronic format via Internet.

Office hours

See the website of Marco Montalti

See the website of Simona Fermani