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A Tigard science teacher has received a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for her invention of a special cosmetic formula that helps deliver oxygen to the skin.

Westside Christian High School teacher Sunita Macwana is a first-year chemistry, Earth science and algebra teacher at the private religious school near Highway 217 and Pacific Highway.

Before coming to Westside, Macwana worked as a scientist at AcryMed, a prominent biotech company in Beaverton. The company makes wound-care products and was purchased by consumer giant Kimberly-Clark Corp. in 2009. Macwana

Kimberly-Clark, a personal care company headquartered in Wisconsin, is the maker of Kleenex, Cottonelle toilet paper and other paper-based consumer products.

At AcryMed, Macwana worked on products that delivered oxygen to help heal wounds. Macwana, who lives in Tigard, moved to Kimberly-Clark’s healthcare division, where she brought her experience in molecular biology.

“We tried to leverage that same oxygen technology to personal care products,” Macwana said.

As people age, many begin to have trouble taking in enough oxygen through their skin due to diseases such as diabetes or because of poor blood circulation, Macwana said.

Oxygen deprivation leads to poor skin health, wrinkles, dryness and makes skin less elastic.

“The delivery of oxygen to the skin for common use is a technological challenge since oxygen is quite reactive and unstable,” Macwana said. “We created a two-part, oil-in-water emulsion that supplies oxygen on demand to the skin.”

The product — which is currently unnamed — delivers dissolved oxygen to the skin, Macwana said from her desk at Westside Christian on Friday.

It helps build collagen and bring elasticity back to the skin.

The product isn’t for sale yet, Macwana said, but she does have two additional patent applications currently under consideration from her work at the company. The patents pertain to the composition’s mixture and other parts of the product, she said.

“This will be a great product for so many women,” she said. “I can’t wait for it to make it to market.”

Macwana submitted the patent applications in 2012. She left the company a year and a half ago and joined the private Christian high school in 2013.

Macwana said she never expected to become a teacher.

“I wasn’t looking to become a teacher,” she said. “I feel like the spirit (of God) led me to look at Westside,” she said. Macwana worships at City Bible Church, where the school is located, “and saw that they needed a science and math tutor.”

She plans to offer a biotechnology class next year, she said.

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