clinical trials

Sunscreen Technology – Nanoparticles on Trial

It was nearly one year ago since I took on the guise of my alter-ego  ‘lab rat’ to participate in a human study on the potential of the zinc oxide found in sunscreens to penetrate the skin.  The trial interested me on a number of levels. I have heard many a scary story about our skin and chemicals including those from camp 70% absorption to camp ‘only 10% get’s through if you REALLY try’.  I must admit that logic would lead me to the conclusion that our largest organ who’s main job is to keep what’s out out and what’s in in ‘could do better’ if it does indeed let 70% of stuff through (maybe we should just rub chocolate on our arms and give our mouths a break) but being a cosmetic chemist it seems too much of a ‘convenient truth’ to just blindly sit myself in the 10% camp. 

In addition to the skin penetration stuff I was also interested in the neat method that was proposed to track zinc through REAL people in REAL life situations using a stable isotope. That’s genius. Oh, and  last of all I just had to learn more about these nanoparticles.

So what does one do in such a situation? Well one finds some smart scientists with a laboratory,  a solar measuring machine and some rather sensible ideas and then follow them around, asking to be experimented on. That is what I did!

And now the preliminary results are published :  ICONN2010 Abstract Gulson[1].

The trial looked at two sunscreen formulations which were identical except one that formulation contained nanoparticles of zinc oxide and the other contained the good old fashioned white stuff – big and chunky (sunscreen grade) zinc oxide.   […]

Lab Rat Training Camp for Nanotechnology Project

Life as a lab rat part 1. Getting set for the trial to find out what happens to nano-sized Zinc Oxide in a sunscreen when it is applied to your skin.