Production of melanin in bacteria and its use for the production of a protective film against violet radiation

Melanin is an abundant pigment found in all types of organisms. It has an important role in skin pigmentation, offers photoprotection when absorbing UV radiation. The increasing number of skin cancer cases and due to high radiation levels, forces the design and analysis of improved alternatives, since sunscreens contain ingredients that affect physiology. The project proposes the manufacture of a novel alginate film containing melanin synthesized in bacterial cells. Synthetic biology methods allow the use of a plasmid with a powerful MelA expression system that employs tyrosine to produce the pigment. It is proposed that such a device is capable of protecting against UV radiation. The tests will assess the effectiveness of the pigment contained in the polymer in its protective capacity. Also perform a chemical characterization of it using FTIR and HPLC techniques.

Principal Investigator

Alberto Donayre – Full time professor Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering Department

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