Latex synthesized gold nanoparticles enhance sunscreen SPF

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

Latex synthesized gold nanoparticles enhance sunscreen SPF

Related tags: Ultraviolet, Sunscreen

Scientists have found that if gold nanoparticles are synthesized with the latex of a native South American plant, then it can enhance the sun protection factor of sunscreens and offer a potent alternative to titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

The team from North Maharashtra University in India found that the incorporation of phytolatex synthesized gold nanoparticles into commercial sunscreens increased the SPF as expected and one of the authors, Satish V Patil, tells that further work is being done into its safety with the hope of developing a formulation for commercial sunscreens.

“The phytochemicals are known for a long time for chemo protection and as beneficial for skin, and the nanoparticles are already ​[used] for interesting optical phenomenon like light reflection, scattering etc,”​ he says.

“In this study, plant latex was used as a reducing and capping agent to synthesize gold nanoparticles. Potential of sunscreen preparations containing gold nanoparticles to protect skin from UV radiation was investigated by in vitro sun protection factor analysis.”


Phytolatex is the latex of Jatropha gossypifolia, which is a species of flowering plant in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae, and is native to Mexico, South America and the Caribbean islands.

Once synthesized with the gold nanoparticles, transmission electron microscopy and UV-Vis spectroscopy techniques were used to get an insight into the mechanism by which the gold nanoparticles enhance sun protection factor of sunscreen.

This showed that gold nanoparticles enhance the sun protection factor of commercial sunscreens due to reflection and scattering of UV radiation.

“Monodispersed AuNPs get aggregated after their addition with the sunscreen product, leading to reduced space between particles due to aggregation which in turn acts as an efficient barrier (physical blocker) to protect skin from UV rays of sun,”​ explains Dr Satish.

“Phytochemicals get adsorbed on surface of nanoparticles which was reflected by increase in SPF.”

The study author tells us that his team are currently focusing on performing more experiments on the phytolatex synthesized gold nanoparticles to assess the superiority of Nano formulation with sunscreens.

“Currently in vitro studies are going on to find safety aspects of Nano formulations in combinations with commercial Sunscreen on human cells in vitro,”​ he adds.


Phytolatex synthesized gold nanoparticles as novel agent to enhance sun protection factor of commercial sunscreens. H. P. Borase, C. D. Patil, R. B. Salunkhe, R. K. Suryawanshi, B. K. Salunke and S. V. Patil.  International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 2014, 1–8

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