Megan Wai, Kimia Shafighi, Lucas Hamilton-Bourezg, Anne-Marie Doucet, Sarah Jurchuk, Ora Cohen, Kieran Guinan, Danièle Sossou, Mustafa Fakih, Mathura Kanapathippillai, Wen Da Lu, Ella Reifsnyder
Our concept is to create a biological sunscreen in a biodegradable capsule. Current sunscreen products are deemed quite dangerous for marine life as they bleach corals, womanize fish, and awaken unwanted marine bacteria. Furthermore, some sunscreen products are dangerous for human skin.
To respond to these challenges, we are taking a more biological approach to sunscreen, with the help of algae and an organic compound called mycosporine-like amino acids (MAA). This compound acts the same way as current sunscreen, by absorbing UVA/UVB light ranges and releasing heat as the byproduct.
Through our innovative production techniques, this new sunscreen will not only be safer for the environment, but also beneficial for humans with respect to the cost of production, improved safety, and meeting current demands to produce biodegradable sunscreen.
Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu received his PhD at Humboldt University in Berlin for his work in time-resolved Raman/CARS spectroscopy to investigate elementary chemical reactions. He specializes in research of plasmonics-based sensors and assays, especially in fields related to biomimetics and point-of-care technologies.
Banner image: Michael D. Beckwith, The Leeds Library