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Production of keratinases by solid-state cultivation of thermophilic fungus for application in cosmetic formulations

Grant number: 21/05340-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2021
Effective date (End): July 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Chemical Process Industries
Principal Investigator:Fernanda Perpétua Casciatori
Grantee:Danielle Turatto Amin
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Proteases are enzymes widely used for protein degradation in several industrial sectors. One of these enzymes is keratinase, responsible for hydrolyzing keratin, a protein with structural function in the animals' bodies. Studies suggest applications of keratinases in the cosmetics industry, with emphasis on the removal of calluses and protection against acne. In view of the emerging search for more sustainable and natural cosmetics, it becomes relevant to research new active ingredients for formulating these products, as well as routes for obtaining natural active ingredients. In this context, this Scientific Initiation project aims to study the production of keratinases by the fungus Myceliophthora thermophila grown in solid-state, aiming at the application in cosmetology products. Flasks will be cultivated using a substrate containing solid agro-industrial residues such as sugarcane bagasse, wheat bran, and poultry feathers, the latter being abundant in the food industry and having the potential to induce the biosynthesis of keratinolytic enzymes. Experimental design will be applied to study the effect of variables such as composition and moisture content of the substrate and temperature and cultivation time on the keratinase activity obtained. Then, the characterization of the enzymatic extract obtained in terms of optimal pH and temperature of activity, thermostability, and effect of ions and EDTA will be made. Once characterized, the enzymes produced will be used in the formulation of two types of cosmetic products for topical use in humans, one aimed at removing calluses and the other to reduce acne. Finally, the gelatinolytic activity in the two proposed cosmetic formulations will be tested by means of in vitro tests. (AU)

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