Skin protection

Self-improving DNA sun screen developed

pixabay

We think the application might be potentially exploitable as a wound covering for extreme environments.

Guy German

“Ultraviolet light can actually damage DNA” said Guy German, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Binghamton University. “We thought, let’s flip it. What happens instead if we actually used DNA as a sacrificial layer? So instead of damaging DNA within the skin, we damage a layer on top of the skin.” German and a team of researchers developed thin and optically transparent crystalline DNA films and irradiated them with UV light. They found that the more they exposed the film to UV light, the better the film got at absorbing it. As an added bonus, the DNA coatings are also hygroscopic, meaning that skin coated with the DNA films can store and hold water much more than uncoated skin. When applied to human skin, they are capable of slowing water evaporation and keeping the tissue hydrated for extended periods of time.

Useful for wound coverage

German intends to see next if these materials might be good as a wound covering for hostile environments where 1) you want to be able to see the wound healing without removing the dressing, 2) you want to protect the wound from the sun and 3) you want to keep the wound in a moist environment, known to promote faster wound healing rates. 

“Not only do we think this might have applications for sunscreen and moisturizers directly, but if it’s optically transparent and prevents tissue damage from the sun and it’s good at keeping the skin hydrated, we think this might be potentially exploitable as a wound covering for extreme environments,” he said.

Source: Binghamton University, State University of New York

29.07.2017

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

Skin cancer research

Aggressive melanoma: cells at tumour's edge are key to cancer spread

Research led by Barts Cancer Institute (BCI), Queen Mary University of London, has revealed novel insights into the mechanisms employed by melanoma cells to form tumours at secondary sites around the…

Photo

Cell coordination explored

Why wound-healing comes in waves

How do cells in our bodies ask for directions? Without any maps to guide them, they still know where to go to heal wounds and renew our bodies. Edouard Hannezo and his group at the Institute of…

Photo

Antibacterial cellulose

A wound dressing that kills bacteria

In order to combat bacterial wound infections, Empa researchers have developed cellulose membranes equipped with antimicrobial peptides. Initial results show: The skin-friendly membranes made of…

Related products

Eppendorf – Mastercycler nexus X2

Research Use Only (RUO)

Eppendorf – Mastercycler nexus X2

Eppendorf AG
Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

Research Use Only (RUO)

Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

SARSTEDT AG & CO. KG
Shimadzu – CLAM-2030

Research Use Only (RUO)

Shimadzu – CLAM-2030

Shimadzu Europa GmbH