A team of European researchers led by noted biotechnologist, Prof Artur M. Cavaco-Paulo were researching the glycoproteins synthesized in the epithelial cells of the lungs. One of the protein fragments of Surfactant Protein D (SP-D) had a unique ability to diffuse through the lipids (also present in the innermost layers of our hair) and bind with lipophilic proteins such as keratin. Using hydrophyllic/hydrophobic balance ratios, he then tried to find a similar protein in the human keratin genome and it surprisingly worked better than the SP-D segment.
Inspired by this discovery, Prof Artur and his team scanned the entire active protein expression of the human keratin genome to identify all protein fragments with multiple cysteines that could bind very well with the keratin associated proteins (KAP) in our hair. The KAPs play a crucial role in forming a strong hair shaft through a cross linked network with keratin intermediate filaments (KIFs) and polypeptide chains formed by KAP1 /KAP II keratins.
After extensive research that lasted several years, the K18Peptide™ sequence assembly was developed and patented – it is the longest chain peptide that can penetrate into the hair cortex to reconnect polypeptide chains broken by alkali and chemical processing with the free thiol from cysteine inside the K18 peptide also participating in intra and inter exchange of dilsulfide bonds to reconform any cleaved disulfide bonds within the same molecular chain.”