The spread is a key parameter of the in vitro evaluation of solar products. We worked for several months on the development of our HD-Spreadmaster robot. The initial technology is based on a six engines robot made by the Sysaxes company, to which was added a silicone finger especially designed to reproduce the hardness, the pressure and the movement of a human finger. We also added a thermal chamber to maintain the required temperature at the surface of the plates," explains Sébastien Miksa, laboratory manager at HelioScreen.

Increased speed and reproducibility

According to HelioScreen, their innovation shows better performances, in particular in terms of time, compared to a conventional application by an operator (up to two times faster, announces the company) and a reproducibility that is improved by a factor of 2-3, depending on the product’s texture. HelioScreen adds that the system has been validated by leading French cosmetics companies and was presented to the ISO working group on sun protection test methods (ISO/TC 217/WG 7).

HelioScreen already uses the HD-Spreadmaster robot, which is available for purchase, for performing SPF (Sun Protection Factor) in vitro assessments for some customers. “We have a strong training and in vitro testing business in France. We are now expanding it into Asia with the opening of our branch in Bangkok," adds Sébastien Miksa.

An innovative SME

HelioScreen is a small company that does not lack of impetuosity or ideas to meet the requirements of in vitro SPF measurement for the growing sunscreens market. Founded in 1999 by Dominique Lutz, HelioScreen has specialized since its creation in the performance of in vitro sunscreen tests. It was one of the first companies to market PMMA [1] plates, which advantageously replaced the then usual applications on Transpore®. While the plates were initially sand blasted, HelioScreen impulse the shift to moulded Helioplate HD6 PMMA plates, which are now a must to meet the ISO 24443:2012 standard and the FDA Rule 2011. In 2013, more than 130,000 HD6 substrates were sold worldwide.