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Towards symmetry driven and nature inspired UV filter design

Abstract : In plants, sinapate esters offer crucial protection from the deleterious effects of ultraviolet radiation exposure. These esters are a promising foundation for designing UV filters, particularly for the UVA region (400 – 315 nm), where adequate photoprotection is currently lacking. Whilst sinapate esters are highly photostable due to a cis-trans (and vice versa) photoisomerization, the cis-isomer can display increased genotoxicity; an alarming concern for current cinnamate ester-based human sunscreens. To eliminate this potentiality, here we synthesize a sinapate ester with equivalent cis- and trans-isomers. We investigate its photostability through innovative ultrafast spectroscopy on a skin mimic, thus modelling the as close to true environment of sunscreen formulas. These studies are complemented by assessing endocrine disruption activity and antioxidant potential. We contest, from our results, that symmetrically functionalized sinapate esters may show exceptional promise as nature-inspired UV filters in next generation sunscreen formulations.
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Michael Horbury, Emily Holt, Louis Mouterde, Patrick Balaguer, Juan Cebrián, et al.. Towards symmetry driven and nature inspired UV filter design. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2019, 10, pp.4748. ⟨10.1038/s41467-019-12719-z⟩. ⟨hal-02883305⟩

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