Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A substance from bacteria can lead to allergy-free sunscreen

25.10.2011
As the realisation that radiation emitted by the sun can give rise to skin cancer has increased, so also has the use of sunscreen creams.

These creams, however, can give rise to contact allergy when exposed to the sun, and this has led to an increasing incidence of skin allergy. Scientists at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology are leading the hunt for a natural UV filter that does not have undesired effects.

“Unfortunately, several of the chemical UV filters used in sunscreens cause contact allergy, either of themselves or when they are exposed to sunlight. We have therefore studied a UV filter, scytonemin, that is found in certain bacteria. We have managed to produce this substance artificially in the laboratory”, says Isabella Karlsson, research student in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Gothenburg.

Sunlight contains two types of UV radiation. The type known as “UVA” penetrates deeply into the skin and causes the pigment that we already have to darken. UVA, however, also causes the skin to age prematurely. The most common chemical UVA filter on the market is 4-tert-butyl-4'-methoxy dibenzoylmethane, BM-DBM, which is known to cause photocontact allergy when it reacts on the skin.
Isabella Karlsson has shown that BM-DBM breaks down in UV light to form several different products. One of these, a group of substances known as “arylglyoxals”, proved to be very potent contact allergens.

Isabella Karlsson also describes in her thesis studies of a relatively new UV filter, octocrylene. The popularity of octocrylene has increased a great deal since it is not broken down by sunlight, and it stabilises other substances such as, for example, BM-DBM. However, several reports of allergic reactions to octocrylene have appeared in recent years. Clinical studies and laboratory experiments have suggested that octocrylene can cause contact allergy, both of itself and when it is exposed to sunlight. Many patients who reacted by developing photocontact allergy to octocrylene developed photocontact allergy also to the drug ketoprofen.

“We tested 172 patients with suspected skin reactions to sunscreen creams and/or the drug ketoprofen in one of our studies. It turned out that 23 of these patients reacted to the UV filter octocrylene. Five of them were diagnosed with contact allergy and the other 18 with photocontact allergy.”

So Isabella Karlsson is placing her hopes onto the natural product scytonemin. She has managed to produce this substance artificially, in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology. Scytonemin is produced by certain cyanobacteria that live in habitats exposed to very strong sunlight. Scytonemin absorbs UV light and thus protects the bacteria from being damaged by the sun’s radiation. More research will be required, however, before it can be added to sunscreen creams.

The thesis Chemical and Dermatological Aspects of UV-absorbing Compounds has been successfully defended at a disputation held at the University of Gothenburg.

For more information, please contact: Isabella Karlsson
Tel: +46 31 786 9108
Mobile: +47 70 732 4737
Email: isabella.karlsson@chem.gu.se
Bibliographic data:
Title: Oxidative Coupling as a Biomimetic Approach to the Synthesis of Scytonemin. ´
Authiors: Andreas Ekebergh, Isabella Karlsson, Rudi Mete, Ye Pan, Anna Börje, and Jerker Mårtensson.
Journal: Organic Letters 13, 4458-4461 (2011).
Link to article: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ol201812n
Title: Clinical and Experimental Studies of Octocrylene’s Allergenic Potency
Authiors: Isabella Karlsson, Katrien Vanden Broecke, Jerker Mårtensson, An Goossens, and Anna Börje.

Journal: Contact Dermatitis 64, 343-352 (2011)

Link to article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0536.2011.01899.x/abstract;jsessionid=2B2C2791AFA46405D5B7E647B87FF545.d04t04

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://hdl.handle.net/2077/26665
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Closing the carbon loop
08.12.2016 | University of Pittsburgh

nachricht Newly discovered bacteria-binding protein in the intestine
08.12.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>