Did you know that some people cannot sunbath such as melanin-deficient disorder such as vitiligo and albinism disease. This synthetically produced melanin could be best treatment for those health conditions.
When summer quickly approaching, many people will take a vacation to beach, mountain, and swimming at the local pool. Unluckily, there is a risk for skin damage related to sun exposure lead to skin cancer. Perhaps we forget or out of sunscreen to protect our skin form damaging sun exposure. In addition, the more sun exposure, the more damaging our skin and sunscreen can’t always protect against.
Challenging Study of Melanin Synthetically Produced Melanin
A solution for this condition is challanging. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSC) tried to creating better solutions.
Based on a study that had published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Central Science, materials scientists and nanoengineers at UCSD had created nanoparticles in the lab. The nanoparticles is like a copy of melanin-producing cell structure, called melanosomes. The function of this nanoparticles is to protects our skin from ultraviolet radiation from sun exposure.
This nanoparticles are really unique because it is a version of the naturally occurring particles in our skin. Normally, our skin produce a particles that produce and hold onto melanin and could have many practical applications, including an effective natural sunscreen.
Nathan Gianneschi, head of research team said “There is potential that nanoparticles can be formulated into a cream, however it still needs to be studied in detail”.
He added, “Our study showed that in cell culture, our material are taken up bu human skin cells. The challenge now is to translate that to fully intacts tissues, to see if it is possile to adapt it to a topical formulation”.
Currently available topical sunscreens can help protect our skin from sun exposure. So it can decrease the risk of skin cancer.
But, the current sunscreen use should be right and in a specific way. For instance broad-spectrum coverage above SPF 30 must be applied before going outside, and it should reapplied every two hours.
So if the synthetic melanine nanoparticle can be created into a topical cream, it could be much more effective sunscreen.
The synthetic melanin function is as a natural tan that can provide some our natural process for gaining protection from the sun exposure. This synthetic melanin would be longer lasting than standard sunscreen, it could absorbed by skin and protect our skin from the inside within the tissue. It much more better than a standard sunscreen that only coating on the outside.
In human skin, there is keratinocytes. Cells found in the outer layer of the kin, or it usually called epidermis. The keratinocytes soaks up our naturally occurring melanosomes. Here, the synthetic melanin nanoparticle in the experiment were not only absorbed and distributed by keratinocytes, but they also protected human skin cells form UV radiation damage from sun exposure.
Beside as a development of an effective sunscreen, it also could have practical implication for treatment of melanin-deficient disorders like vitiligo and albinism.
As we know that both vitiligo and albinism, there is lack of melanin production in the skin, and because current treatment are few available for them. It mean that vitiligo and albinism have higher risk of developing skin cancer.
Synthetic melanin might work as natural melanin in human, and it is helpful for vitiligo and albinism. The skin will be darker, and of course it provides protection, as with a tan.
Melanin particles also produced naturally by many different animals, but it quite different than in humans, it is much more effective. For instance, the iridescent feather of some birds species, and skin in certain reptiles, produce melanin that fully thier skin from damaging ultraviolet rays.
Humans use melanin to generate dark skin colors, as well animals. In animals, melanin could create structural coloration in the case of iridescence. But humans don’t have that structural coloration.
It would be possible to extract melanin particles from animals for human, but the process would be very complicated than creating synthetic melanin.
The next research will look at how these synthetic melanin nanoparticles can be used in applications to protects DNA damage caused by sun’s damaging UV rays.
The researchers is optimist the abilitiy of these material to absorb UV and what chemical structures are needed to increase protection.