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All-natural sunscreen derived from algae

Date:
July 29, 2015
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
For consumers searching for just the right sunblock this summer, the options can be overwhelming. But scientists are now turning to the natural sunscreen of algae -- which is also found in fish slime -- to make a novel kind of shield against the sun's rays that could protect not only people, but also textiles and outdoor materials.
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For consumers searching for just the right sunblock this summer, the options can be overwhelming. But scientists are now turning to the natural sunscreen of algae -- which is also found in fish slime -- to make a novel kind of shield against the sun's rays that could protect not only people, but also textiles and outdoor materials. They report on their development in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Existing sunblock lotions typically work by either absorbing ultraviolet rays or physically blocking them. A variety of synthetic and natural compounds can accomplish this. But most commercial options have limited efficiency, pose risks to the environment and human health or are not stable. To address these shortcomings, Vincent Bulone, Susana C. M. Fernandes and colleagues looked to nature for inspiration.

The researchers used algae's natural sunscreen molecules, which can also be found in reef fish mucus and microorganisms, and combined them with chitosan, a biopolymer from crustacean shells. Testing showed their materials were biocompatible, stood up well in heat and light, and absorbed both ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B radiation with high efficiency.


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Journal Reference:

  1. Susana C. M. Fernandes, Ana Alonso-Varona, Teodoro Palomares, Verónica Zubillaga, Jalel Labidi, Vincent Bulone. Exploiting Mycosporines as Natural Molecular Sunscreens for the Fabrication of UV-Absorbing Green Materials. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2015; 150724095913009 DOI: 10.1021/acsami.5b04064

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "All-natural sunscreen derived from algae." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 July 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150729142022.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2015, July 29). All-natural sunscreen derived from algae. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 28, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150729142022.htm
American Chemical Society. "All-natural sunscreen derived from algae." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150729142022.htm (accessed May 28, 2017).

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