Skin Purity with MOFs

Activated carbons have made their presence known in the personal care space, with most major companies in the sector incorporating them into products. And as consumer product companies learn more about the potential of adsorbents on our skin, teeth and hair, it is only a matter of time before the super adsorbent, Metal Organic Frameworks, often referred to as MOFs, make their way to your local drug store counter.  framergy Inc. of Texas is working to make that happen.

MOFs are ‘super’ adsorbents because of their record-holding internal surface area. One gram of this incredible material has the same surface area as a football field.  framergy was the first company to market with MOFs and controls the standard essential patents for titanium and iron based materials.  The Company’s scientist postulated that if titanium dioxide was a good sun block, a titanium Metal Organic Framework could be better and may also provide adsorption benefits for personal care.

“We created some formulations with out titanium MOFs and took them over to the university to test UV absorbance – we were astonished by the results.”

Anne Boehme, Chemist at framergy


Preliminary data from framergy provided that AYRSORBTM T125 consistently demonstrated higher UV absorbance (photo-inactivation) performance over titanium dioxide.   These MOFs do not include titanium dioxide but have a comparable oxygen to titanium ratio linked with organic ligands in a framework setting.  Confidence in this led the framergy team to test MOFs at their physical dilution point, far below the regulated (EU SCCS & US FDA) twenty five weight percent. Typical sunscreens have a titanium dioxide loading between two and fifteen weight percent.  Results showed MOF formulations at a maximum 0.58 weight percent to be consistently above 2.5 Au (absorbance) in the UV-C (200-280 nm), UV-B (280-320 nm) and UV-A (320-400 nm) spectrums; far exceeding most studies found on any sunscreen. 

framergy also shared MOF samples with personal care product companies.  One company tested AYRSORBTM T125 against their benchmark mineral additives.  The results showed conclusively that the MOF outperformed titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in continuous wave measurement, UVa1/UV ratio and relative SPF. The company was also surprised to find broad-spectrum coverage with the MOF.

Part II of Skin Purity with MOFs in 2021 will look at how titanium MOFs can adsorb dangerous byproducts of sun exposure and pollution on the skin, leading to a real purity when applying a sunblock.  Supporting future research in conjunction with Baylor College of Medicine is funding from  the US National Institutes of Health’ National Cancer Institute through their Small Business Innovation Research program. The Company hopes to launch a sun care product by the end of 2021 and titanium MOFs are available through Strem Chemicals for testing.


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