An antioxidant is a chemical compound that inhibits the oxidation of other substances. Antioxidants have a big physiological meaning because they catch free radicals. Different external influences cause the body to produce too many free radicals. Those attack the cell membrane and essential proteins. Like this, the cell becomes prone to illnesses. Antioxidants – particular vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytochemicals – protect the skin from free radicals. The free radical-scavenging properties of the SeaCell™ fibers and textiles were tested in accordance with the ABEL® (Analysis By Emitted Light) test at Jena University.
Ascophyllum nodosum is a large, common brown alga (Phaeophyceae) in the family Fucaceae, being the only species in the genus Ascophyllum. It is seaweed of the northern Atlantic Ocean, also known as rockweed, Norwegian kelp, knotted kelp, knotted wrack or egg wrack. It is common on the north-western coast of Europe (from Svalbard to Portugal) including east Greenland and the north-eastern coast of North America. Ascophyllum nodosum has long fronds with large egg-shaped air-bladders set in series at regular intervals in the fronds and not stalked. The fronds can reach 2 m in length and are attached by a holdfast to rocks and boulders.
Ascophyllum nodosum is harvested for use in alginates, fertilisers and for the manufacture of seaweed meal for animal and human consumption. It has long been used as an organic and mainstream fertilizer for many varieties of crops due to its combination of both macronutrient, (e.g. N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S) and micronutrients (e.g. Mn, Cu, Fe, Zn, etc.). It also host to cytokinins, auxin-like gibberellins, betaines, mannitol, organic acids, polysaccharides, amino acids, and proteins which are all very beneficial and widely used in agriculture.
SeaCell™ contains ascophyllum nodosum or knotted wrack. Because of its high amount of mineral substances (e.g. magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphor), trace elements (particularly iron and iodine) and the vitamins B, A, E and C, ascophyllum nodosum enables various application possibilities.
Biodegradable additives are additives that enhance the biodegradation of the polymers by allowing microorganisms to utilize the carbon within the polymer chain itself. Biodegradable additives attract microorganisms to the polymer through quorum sensing after biofilm creation on the plastic product. Additives are generally in masterbatch formation that use carrier resins such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene or polyethylene terephthalate. There are organic and inorganic additives. The smartfiber fibers include natural additives such as zinc or algae.
Cellulose is an organic compound with the formula (C6H10O5)n, a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to over ten thousand D-glucose units. Cellulose is an important structural component of the primary cell wall of green plants, many forms of algae and the oomycetes. Some species of bacteria secrete it to form biofilms. Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer on Earth. The cellulose content of cotton fiber is 90%, that of wood is 40–50% and that of dried hemp is approximately 45%. Cellulose is mainly used to produce paperboard and paper. Smaller quantities are converted into a wide variety of derivative products such as cellophane and rayon. Conversion of cellulose from energy crops into biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol is under investigation as an alternative fuel source. Cellulose for industrial use is mainly obtained from wood pulp and cotton. Some animals, particularly ruminants and termites, can digest cellulose with the help of symbiotic micro-organisms that live in their guts. Humans can digest cellulose to some extent, however it mainly acts as a hydrophilic bulking agent for feces and is often referred to as "dietary fiber".
Deutsche Innovationspreis (German Innovation Prize)
The companies Accenture, EnBW, Evonik and Business Week have joined the initiative, the German Innovation Prize to honor outstanding, pioneering innovations German companies that change with their innovation and business markets. The German Innovation Prize is awarded large companies, medium-sized companies as well as smaller companies and start-ups since 2010 in the categories. Be considered product innovation, innovative business models, processes and services as well as organizational and marketing innovation: innovation made in Germany and made for. 2010 smartfiber AG won the German Innovation Award in the category “start-up".
Geologically, a fjord is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created in a valley carved by glacial activity. SeaCell™ contains brown seaweed with the name ascophyllum nodosum or knotted wrack. Knotted wrack is harvested in the cold and pure fjords of Island. These estuaries with mostly very steep slopes present pristine nature and are a paradise for animals. The fjords are barely populated. No wastewater and no ships pollute the naturally preserved microcosm. The geothermal water is part of this unique ecosystem and has its origin in a depth of 2000 metres. There is a temperature of 240 °C and the pressure is 36 times the pressure at the earth’s surface. The seawater comes in contact with cooled down magma and absorbs a high amount of different minerals there, which also can be found in brown seaweed. They are enriched with vital substances, contain no pollutants and signify highest quality.
As natural metabolic products, free radicals are produced constantly within our body and fulfil essentially vital tasks. However, environmental pollution, nutrition deficiency, stress, medication, diseases and much more can lead to an uncontrolled production of free radicals. Thereby, the self-regulation of the body is disturbed. Important body functions are inhibited and the ageing process is furthered. Free radicals attack protective cell membranes and essential proteins. They damage the genetic material. In the course of life, these defects sum up and cause diseases. Each tissue and each organ of the body can be affected. The free radicals are one of the reasons for premature skin ageing. The seaweed in the SeaCell™-fiber protects from premature skin ageing – initiated by e.g. free radicals.
A functional permanence is a continuous fact. Everything that is permanent is characterized by an uninterrupted function or an eternally fixed situation. With the help of a patented procedure, smartfiber AG succeeded in incorporating natural additives with a positive effect on the skin permanently into a cellulose fiber. The fibers are completely bio-degradable and hence meet the expectations of the industry and the modern consumer.
The Lenzing AG is a world market leader with headquarters in Austria, production sites in all major markets as well as a worldwide network of sales and marketing offices. Lenzing supplies the global textile and nonwovens industry with high-quality man-made cellulose fibers and is the leading supplier in many business-to-business markets. The portfolio ranges from dissolving pulp, standard and specialty cellulose fibers to high-quality plastic polymer products and engineering services. Lenzing quality and innovative strength set global standards for man-made cellulose fibers. With 75 years of experience in fiber production, the Lenzing Group is the only company worldwide combining the manufacturing of all three man-made cellulose fiber generations on a large industrial scale under one roof – from the classic viscose to modal and lyocell (TENCEL®) fibers. Since 2011, the Lenzing AG exclusively produces the lyocell fibers developed by smartfiber. The production at the location of Lenzing is a consequent continuation of the longstanding research and development cooperation between the two companies. Like this, Lenzing's high competence in the production and processing of lyocell fibers intermingles with smartfiber's original and innovative patented technology of their function-oriented fiber products. The management of smartfiber looks on the intense collaboration with Lenzing as an important future-oriented step with an advantage for the clients. It enables a distinctively better cost structure and the acceptance of large orders.
Lyocell is a regenerated cellulose fiber made from dissolving pulp (bleached wood pulp). The US Federal Trade Commission defines Lyocell as "a cellulose fabric that is obtained by an organic solvent spinning process". It classifies the fibre as a sub-category of rayon. The fiber is used to make textiles for clothing and other purposes. Lyocell is offered by the smartfiber AG under the label smartcel™ and SeaCell™.
Mites are a subclass of the arachnids and represent here the most species-rich group with about 50.000 known species in 546 families. House dust mites are to be found in every household. Their excretion can cause house dust allergy. These allergies have developed to common widespread diseases. Especially newborns and infants, but also adults, often develop allergic reactions to this "house dust allergy" caused by the excretions of mites. The consequences are chronic rhinitis, allergic asthma or torturous neurodermatitis, among others. Thereby the rule is: the more mites there are, the bigger the allergic complaints are.
The bed with its warm and moist climate is their preferred whereabouts. Here, they can ideally subsist on human skin scales and hair. About 65 % of all mites in a household are located in the bed. The rest is mainly allocated in upholstered furniture and carpets. Effective help against mites is offered by smartcel™ sensitive. In addition to its cosmetic effect, zinc within the fibers provides for an environment that is unfavorable for mites.
The NMMO solution is a patented procedure for the production and processing of a cellulose solution by the “Thuringian Institute of Textile and Plastics Research” from Rudolstadt, Germany. Aim of the invention is to eliminate the disadvantages of cellulose solutions. For this purpose, the solution gets extruded through spinnerets into a precipitation bath. The usage of a mixture of NMMO and water as solvent has several advantages. Above all, the possibility of an (almost) closed solvent circuit is to be emphasized.
Nonwoven fabric is a fabric-like material made from long fibers, bonded together by chemical, mechanical, heat or solvent treatment. The term is used in the textile manufacturing industry to denote fabrics, such as felt, which are neither woven nor knitted. Nonwoven materials typically lack strength unless densified or reinforced by a backing. In recent years, nonwovens have become an alternative to polyurethane foam. The smartfiber-fibers, labeled smartcel™ and SeaCell™, are the basis for innovative products in the nonwoven sector.
The responsibility for the independent tests for harmful substances according to Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 lies with the International Oeko-Tex® Association, a union of 15 renowned institutes for textile research and testing in Europe and Japan, with representations and contact offices in over 60 countries worldwide. Based on their individual core competences, the Oeko-Tex® member institutes with their broad and varied range of activities provide significant impetus for innovations within the textile and clothing industry. Together with the manufacturers their testing activities are also a significant contribution to the development of high-quality textile products in all stages of production. Long-standing experience and testing expertise of the institutes are also the basis for the joint continued development of Oeko-Tex® Standard 100, which has been continually optimised and expanded ever since its introduction thanks to technical expertise regarding textile production and scientific findings from the fields of chemistry, medicine and associated areas of research. All smartfiber-fibers are certified by Eco-Tex® standard 100, product class 1 (approved for babies).
Seaweed grows mostly in the ocean and in fresh water. Seaweed contains more minerals and vitamins than any other natural product. It stores amino acids, iodine, trace elements and many more in great compression: In one kilogram of dried seaweed you find the active ingredients of 100000 liters of seawater.
From the traditional Chinese medicine to modern hygienics, seaweed is appreciated for its high amount of vital substances and the skin protective as well as anti-inflammatory effect. Seaweed strengthens the immune system, lowers blood glucose, uric acid and cholesterol, improves the circulatory regulation, works digestive, calms the air passages and vitalizes skin, hair and nails. The high polysaccharide content also makes it a popular ingredient in the cosmetics industry. In many care products seaweed leads to a significant improvement in the skin’s capacity to retain moisture. SeaCell™ contains the special brown seaweed with the name ascophyllum nodosum or knotted wrack. Because of its high amount of mineral substances (e.g. magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphor), trace elements (particularly iron and iodine) and the vitamins B, A, E and C, ascophyllum nodosum enables various application possibilities. Medical studies on knotted wrack have verified that it contains the active ingredient fucoidan, which has a growth inhibiting effect on tumor cells. Other studies prove a strong antithrombotic, blood thinning and anticoagulant effect.
Thuringian Institute of Textile and Plastics Research (TITK)
Using the research and development work carried out by the "Institute for Man-Made Fibre Technology" as a basis, the TITK has advanced from an organisation offering research expertise for the application of fibres in the textile industry to an ultra-modern and world-renown institute for polymer materials research. As an industry-oriented research institute, the TITK conducts both fundamental and applied research in fields of relevance to various industries. Among other things, TITK support small and medium-sized enterprises with their innovation efforts by providing them with interdisciplinary expert knowledge, innovative ideas, specialised knowledge of the industries we work with, and state-of-the-art technical infrastructure. The objective of such collaboration is to develop technological processes and competitive products that meet the individual requirements of customers, whereby the results of the activities can be used for the most diverse applications in the fields of chemistry, plastics and textiles. The TITK fiber technology also constitutes the basis for the smartfiber fibers.
Zinc oxide is an inorganic compound with the formula ZnO. ZnO is a white powder that is insoluble in water, which is widely used as an additive in numerous materials and products including plastics, ceramics, glass, cement, lubricants, paints, ointments, adhesives, sealants, pigments, foods (source of Zn nutrient), batteries, ferrites, fire retardants, and first aid tapes. It occurs naturally as the mineral zincite but most zinc oxide is produced synthetically. It is widely used in dentistry and is a biomaterial. Zinc oxide is produced by the combustion of zinc. Zinc oxide is for example used in sunscreens. In ointments, powder, baby creams and cosmetic products zinc oxide supports the natural processes of the skin, fosters the wound healing and fights skin inflammation. The smartfiber-fiber smartcel™ sensitive contains zinc oxide as pharma grade 4 zinc white – a pharmaceutically pure zinc oxide made from metallic zinc. It meets DAB 10 purity requirements and other international regulations for the preparation of pharmaceuticals. Zinc oxide is used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, dental chemistry and nutritional supplements, among others.
Source: Wikipedia, TITK, Oekotex®, Lenzing