Use of Agave tequilana-lignin and zinc oxide nanoparticles for skin photoprotection.

Journal of photochemistry and photobiology. B, Biology

PubMedID: 27573548

Gutiérrez-Hernández JM, Escalante A, Murillo-Vázquez RN, Delgado E, González FJ, Toríz G. Use of Agave tequilana-lignin and zinc oxide nanoparticles for skin photoprotection. J Photochem Photobiol B, Biol. 2016;163156-161.
The use of sunscreens is essential for preventing skin damage and the potential appearance of skin cancer in humans. Inorganic active components such as zinc oxide (ZnO) have been used commonly in sunscreens due to their ability to block UVA radiation. This ultraviolet (UV) protection might be enhanced to cover the UVB and UVC bands when combined with other components such as titanium dioxide (TiO2). In this work we evaluate the photoprotection properties of organic nanoparticles made from lignin in combination with ZnO nanoparticles as active ingredients for sunscreens. Lignin nanoparticles were synthesized from Agave tequilana lignin. Two different pulping methods were used for dissolving lignin from agave bagasse. ZnO nanoparticles were synthesized by the precipitation method. All nanoparticles were characterized by SEM, UV-Vis and FT-IR spectroscopy. Nanoparticles were mixed with a neutral vehicle in different concentrations and in-vitro sun protection factor (SPF) values were calculated. Different sizes of spherical lignin nanoparticles were obtained from the spent liquors of two different pulping methods. ZnO nanoparticles resulted with a flake shape. The mixture of all components gave SPF values in a range between 4 and 13. Lignin nanoparticles showed absorption in the UVB and UVC regions which can enhance the SPF value of sunscreens composed only of zinc oxide nanoparticles. Lignin nanoparticles have the added advantage of being of organic nature and its brown color can be used to match the skin tone of the person using it.