Issue Date: March 26, 2012
Odd One Out
Most of Robert S. Langer’s companies are solidly within the biomedical sector. But one of his companies is decidedly different.
Jon Flint, a cofounder of Polaris Ventures, and Amir H. Nashat, a former Langer student also at Polaris, approached Langer with an idea to apply some of Langer’s technologies to personal care products.
Langer was loath to say no. “These guys have been fantastic to us,” he says. “They’ve taken so many projects from my lab and turned them into companies that are out there making products.” Langer agreed to give it a shot, and Living Proof was born.
The company’s initial product is a formula to tame frizzy hair. Other companies focused on silicone to control frizz. But Langer and Living Proof went back to basics and looked for polymers that would have the right amount of hydrophobicity to keep water out of hair. They came up with polyfluoroester. Another product designed to instill body in hair also uses polyfluoroester but then includes another polymer the company calls poly(β-amino ester) 1—originally synthesized in Langer’s lab as one of a library of polymers—to mimic the texture of thicker hair.
Living Proof went from conception to products in only two years. Its products can be found at beauty retailers Sephora and Ulta.
- Chemical & Engineering News
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