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DSTL develops ‘natural’ peptide formulation with skin care potential

By Andrew McDougall , 07-Jun-2012
Last updated on 07-Jun-2012 at 12:57 GMT

The UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) has developed a peptide formulation with potential skin care product application, based on the body’s natural defence system.

The researchers say that the peptide-in-cream advance could provide a potent natural antimicrobial action without chemicals.

This is due to the creams based on the technology working like skin healing creams; killing bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus, but without using chemical antiseptics.

Antimicrobial properties

The advance stems from research that has discovered a way of delivering the antimicrobial properties of proteins that are normally found in the sub-dermal layers, in the form of creams for application on the skin surface.

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are natural proteins that form part of the body's immune system defences against pathogens, providing powerful germ killing and wound healing capabilities that can combat even multidrug-resistant micro-organisms.

The DSTL researchers’ cream formulation allows AMPs to be delivered in their active form to the skin surface.

The efficacy of the cream was demonstrated by using it to deliver an example AMP - LL37 - which plays an important role in the first line of defence against infection at sites of skin inflammation and wounds.

Skin care applications

The research, which DSTL expects to appeal to the cosmetics industry, is available from Ploughshare Innovations - the company that licenses intellectual property developed at the research lab.

The potential of the technology, which is a spin-off from research conducted by Dstl into treatment of infections, could lead to the development of an exciting new class of skincare and treatment products. Ploughshare Innovations is actively seeking commercial partners to further develop the technology to create products for specific applications.

“Potential uses are wide ranging. They include skin creams for health workers exposed to pathogens, skin repair and anti-ageing creams, and over-the-counter creams and ointments for first-aid response and treatment of rashes, scrapes, wounds, acne, and burn or fungal infections,” claim the researchers.

The researchers also believe the cream may have uses in treating certain specific and difficult skin-related conditions such as diabetic ulcers.

SCI 2012 to open its doors

Cosmetics Design is readying its second SkinCare Ingredients virtual trade show, to be held on June 13, a date all skin care professionals should now have firmly marked in their diaries.

Building on the tremendous success of the first event, which attracted over 3,200 registrants, the 2012 event will be offering visitors increased networking opportunities, a new conference program that hits on some of the most pertinent trends in the category, as well as a show floor featuring booths with some of the leading names in the industry. Click here to register

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