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 Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>