TAU-Developed Pigment Could Revolutionize Skin Care
A Tel Aviv University researcher has developed a new method for creating colorful melanin-like pigments, which outperform natural melanin. This and related discoveries by Dr. Ayala Lampel of TAU’s Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research could potentially be used to enhance sunscreen products to better defend against sunburn, signs of aging and skin cancer.
Melanin, the pigment responsible for our hair and skin color, serves multiple functions in our bodies, the most important being to protect our skin from the harmful effects of sunlight.
In her post-doctoral research, Dr. Lampel—together with Prof. Rein Ulijn and other colleagues at the City University of New York—synthesized slightly different types of pigments, which change color depending on the substances added to them. The composite pigments possess different rates of UV absorbance and fluorescent emission, which can thus serve different purposes.
Lampel is now working on synthetic melanin to make it more suitable for large-scale use in the skin-care industry.