Navigation Links
Synthesizing the most natural of all skin creams
Date:3/17/2009

Even after nine months soaking in the womb, a newborn's skin is smooth unlike an adult's in the bath. While occupying a watery, warm environment, the newborn manages to develop a skin fully equipped to protect it in a cold, dry and bacteria-infected world. A protective cream called Vernix caseosa (VC), which covers the fetus and the newborn, aids in the growth of skin both before and after birth. VC provides 'waterproofing' in utero, allowing skin to grow in wet conditions, while after birth it hydrates and cleanses, even healing when applied to ulcers. Prof. Joke Bouwstra, a specialist in the skin barrier and its synthesis at Leiden University, and her colleague Robert Rimann set out to study VC in detail and has produced a synthetic version of this natural buttery ointment which shows the same structure and unique properties. As well as helping pre-term babies develop essential protection against temperature changes, dehydration and infection, artificial VC could also benefit sufferers of skin disease.

Like most moisturising creams, VC is mostly water. Its outstanding properties come from the addition of just 10% each of lipid molecules and dead skin cells (corneocytes), so the exact composition of the mixture is important.

For the lipids, X-ray diffraction measurements at the Dutch/Flemish DUBBLE beamline at the ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) allowed the Leiden researchers to find the proportions of the various forms in the cream, even distinguishing between complex molecules differing in chain length.

The corneocytes were also studied using electron microscopy, yielding their size, shape and water content.

But equally important is how the mixture arranges itself. Lipid molecules are shaped something like lollipops, with a round end that prefers to be surrounded by water and a stick which prefers to make a raft with other lollipop sticks. VC contains several different lengths of lipids, which form different arrangements as the temperature changes. The result is that VC fulfils different functions inside and outside the womb, just as butter behaves differently in the oven and on the table. Again, the ESRF's synchrotron light was used to illuminate the corneocytes and lipids together and look for any clumps or other ordering. Once they knew exactly what VC was made of and how it was arranged, they set about creating a synthetic version.

A readily available natural source of the sort of fat molecules needed is lanolin, the oil found in sheep's wool, which is currently used as a skin treatment by some nursing mothers. The team isolated the fats which were the closest match to the measurements they had of VC, and used them to create a synthetic solution with the same behaviour. The corneocytes were synthesized by M.H.M. Oudshoorn from the Utrecht University. When combined, these synthetic ingredients made a cream which looked the same using both x-ray measurements and light microscopy as VC, while allowing the researchers to alter the water content and other properties at will. After pre-clinical testing, the developed creams showed great potential for use on disrupted and underdeveloped skin: the skin barrier recovered much more quickly when synthetic VC was applied. These promising results will give rise to future clinical studies, in order to prove the benefits of the newly developed creams in treating healthy, dry and diseased human skin.


'/>"/>

Contact: Montserrat Capellas
capellas@esrf.fr
33-476-882-663
European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Gladstone scientists reveal that fat synthesizing enzyme is key to healthy skin and hair
2. Photosynthesizing bacteria with a day-night cycle contain rare chromosome
3. A natural approach for HIV vaccine
4. Understanding natural crop defenses
5. Honest crabs, power to the hungry, nice mice and clever meerkats: News from the American Naturalist
6. A natural, alternative insect repellent to DEET
7. Even natural perfumes may cause allergies
8. Ocean islands fuel productivity and carbon sequestration through natural iron fertilization
9. Natural brain substance blocks weight gain in mice, UT Southwestern researchers discover
10. As super-predators, humans reshape their prey at super-natural speeds
11. Particulate emission from natural gas burning home appliances
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Synthesizing the most natural of all skin creams
(Date:3/30/2017)...  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host the ... hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, Washington ... developing health and wellness apps that provide a unique, ... is the first hackathon for personal genomics and ... in the genomics, tech and health industries are sending ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities ... (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, ... recognition, and others), by end use industry (government and ... immigration, financial and banking, and others), and by region ... , Asia Pacific , and ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... India , March 28, 2017 ... IP, Biometrics), Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software ... Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... Billion in 2016 and is projected to reach USD ... between 2017 and 2022. The base year considered for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... Assured Enterprises, Inc. ... a full spectrum of digital security goods and services. The strategic partners now ... ground-breaking proactive cybersecurity services and products through Assured Enterprises. The two companies provide ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... QC , April 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - Prometic Life Sciences ... presented new results at the International Liver Congress ("ILC") 2017 ... ("EASL") in Amsterdam on the positive ... a mouse model of obesity and metabolic syndrome. ... According to Dr. Lyne Gagnon, Vice-President ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... and PETACH TIKVAH, Israel , April 20, ... developer of adult stem cell technologies for neurodegenerative diseases, announced ... present at the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine,s (ARM) 5 th ... April 27, 2017 at 09:40 EDT in Boston ... , MD, MHSc, Chief Medical Officer & Chief Operating Officer, ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) , ... April 18, 2017 ... ... name to Halo Labs . The move comes after the company changed ... this new market, our new brand and our new technology,” says CEO Robert ...
Breaking Biology Technology: