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Establishing a three-dimensional skin model to develop and evaluate the efficacy of photoprotective and anti-aging cosmetic formulations


Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) promotes biological impacts on the skin and its excesses is identified as one of the main risk factors for aging and development of all types of skin cancers. The prevalence of skin cancer is very high and it is the most diagnosed type of cancer in the United States and corresponds to at least 25% of all tumors reported in Brazil. The use of sunscreens is considered one of the main strategies for reducing UVR damage to the skin, as well as, cancer. However, the current parameters used to assess the photoprotection are not representative for protection against real damage to structures and cellular components, including DNA, lipids and proteins, and require studies in volunteers, leading to significant disadvantages in the ethical and financial field. In addition, several other substances are also widely used, concurrently with sunscreen in cosmetics acting as anti-aging assets and little is known about the potential risks that these associations can trigger in skin. In this context, the proposed innovation in this project is to develop a three-dimensional skin-model product containing melanocytes which is designed to conduct in vitro tests, which by specific assays will permit to determine the safety and efficacy, as well as, to meet the actual damage/benefits of sunscreen and anti-aging products. In addition to allowing the actual quantification of the damage that UV radiation causes to the skin even in the presence of sunscreen (since the incidence of skin cancer has been raised concurrently with the increasing use of sunscreens), the use of these innovative products is in accordance to new claims from international standards, such as "Cosmetics Directive" of the European Union since 2004, as well as, national and state regulations to minimize the use of animals in preclinical studies (Brazil, 2014). Thus, these products, a three-dimensional skin-model, which have innovative characteristics at the global level to mimic the complete structure of the skin including the fundamental presence of melanocytes (since the production of melanin is closely related to the effects of UVR on the skin), can be employed to conduct pre-clinical studies on a large scale in an attempt to promote greater safety and efficacy of sunscreen in order to meet cosmetic companies requirements, which present growing demand, besides meeting the legal obligation to stop animals test. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa para Inovação FAPESP about research grant:
3D skin created in the laboratory can eliminate animal testing of cosmetics and sunscreens 
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