Calgina is a microencapsulated biomaterial that helps to maintain body hydration promoting skin cells regeneration and healing. This rubber like material is flexible, smooth, transparent, water-resistant and performs wonderful thermal properties. Resistive to high temperature, this calcium alginate-based material could be used as a flame retardant surface. In addition to those properties, it is fully bio-based, biodegradable and uses a soft chemistry process with very low energy consumption.
Derived from brown seaweed, calcium alginate is a chemical substance already used in the medical industry to create bandage for activating tissue repair. Phycocyanin, the main active compound in spirulina was used for its natural blue color and its powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. Other natural compounds were added like tea tree or patchouli essential oils to boost the immune system and amplify the relaxing properties of the material.
This calcium alginate-based material uses a soft chemistry (chimie douce) fabrication process, meaning that it polymerises at ambient temperature without any source of heat. A chemical reaction similar to those occurring in natural biological systems. This sol-gel process (method for producing solid materials from small molecules) is divided in six steps : hydrolysis, polymerisation, gelation, drying, dehydration and densification. The jellification of the material forms when the sodium alginate polymer enters in contact with calcium chloride. The ions calcium replaces the ions sodium and cross-link the alginate polymer network. During this procedure it is possible to encapsulate natural compounds such as essential oils or nanoparticles to add functionalities to the material.