Nail Polish Removable by Peptides

Tech ID: 24848 / UC Case 2015-142-0

Full Description

There are many applications that require the use of temporary coating that can be safely and easily removed. Coatings and polishes typically can only be removed using harsh chemicals or solvents. For example, gel nail polish removal requires a 10-15 minute acetone soak, exposing the nail polish remover and anyone in the near vicinity to the volatile chemicals. Furthermore, the mechanical stress and harsh solvents used to remove nail polish can be harmful to the nails and nail beds.

The invention described here is a self-immolative polyurethane material with a cysteine-activated trigger that could be used as an undercoat for commercially available gel nail polishes. The polymer is a stable material that is degraded upon activation and release of a trigger molecule. In the case of this novel polymer, an aqueous solution of cysteine, an amino acid, would be used to degrade the polymer into monomers and therefore remove the nail polish. .

Suggested uses

- Nail polish base coats or undercoats

- Temporary coating or packaging for electronic devices


- Eliminates use of harsh chemicals for nail polish removal

- Promotes healthy nails and nail beds

- Mild conditions to move temporary coating for non cosmetic applications

State Of Development

Currently at the synthesis stage. The cysteine active trigger has been tested to prove the concept works. The self immolative backbone has been shown to depolymerize upon removal of trigger in publications by others.

Brief Description

The invention described is a nail polish base coat that can be dissolved using an aqueous solution of cysteine. Current nail polishes and base coats are removed using a combination of vigorous scrubbing and soaks in harsh chemicals such as ethyl acetate or acetone for long periods of time. The polymer described in this invention would eliminate exposure to harsh chemicals and vigorous scrubbing. Therefore making the process of nail polish removal more comfortable and healthier nails for frequent nail polish users.


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  • Chou, Beverly

Other Information


Removable nail polish, Biodegradable, Coating, Cosmetics

Categorized As

  • Institute for Innovation Logo
  • Institute for Innovation Logo

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