Melanins are ubiquitous pigments. They are present in skin, hair, the eye and the brain though it is their function as a natural sunscreen for which they are perhaps best known. Although it is established that melanins are largely composed of dihydroxyindoles (relatively small molecules closely linked to several amino acids), their non-repeating polymer structure has remained elusive. This lack of structural knowledge is a barrier to progress in several areas, most notably in understanding the causes of melanoma, the most virulent form of skin cancer.
Researchers at the University of Strathclyde have taken a significant step towards identifying the structure of the skin's natural defence against sun rays - a discovery which could increase our understanding of the causes of skin cancer.
· The structural integrity of melanin can now be assessed??.
· Hence the effect of interference of other metabolites such as metal ions, which are known to readily bind to melanin, can be studied??.
· The effect of ultraviolet light on melanin structure can now be studied??.
· The effect on melanin structure of therapeutics for various skin disorders and personal care products can be studied??.
Markets and Applications
The effect on melanin structure of therapeutics for various skin disorders and personal care products can be studied??.
Contact is welcome from organisations interested in developing, licensing or exploiting this technology.