University of Oulu

TiO2 nanoparticles as UV protectors in skin

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Author: Popov, Alexey1,2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Department of Electrical and Information Engineering
2University of Oulu, Infotech Oulu
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2008
Publish Date: 2008-11-11
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic dissertation to be presented, with the assent of the Faculty of Technology of the University of Oulu, for public defence in Raahensali (Auditorium L10), Linnanmaa, on November 21st, 2008, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Professor Valery Tuchin
Professor Leonhard Zastrow


Protecting human skin against harmful UV radiation from the sun is an acute problem nowadays. Due to decreased thickness of the ozone layer, more UV light reaches the ground surface. This is one of the reasons of increased frequency of skin diseases. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles are embedded with sunscreens into the skin to attenuate UV radiation through absorption and scattering. The effectiveness of the interaction between particles and UV light depends on nanoparticle sizes.

The aim of the study is to predict how the optical properties of the superficial layer of the human skin (stratum corneum) can be modified by means of nanoparticles, assuming that these particles are spheres and do not aggregate (this is achieved by application of some modern treatment techniques). In-depth distribution of TiO2 particles embedded into the skin after multiple applications of sunscreens was determined experimentally using the tape-stripping technique. A computer code implementing the Monte Carlo method was developed to simulate photon migration within the 20-μm thick horny layer partially filled with nano-sized TiO2 spheres, 35–200 nm in diameter. Dependencies of UV radiation of two wavelengths (310 and 400 nm) absorbed by and totally reflected from, as well as transmitted through the horny layer on the size of TiO2 particles were obtained and analyzed. Silicon nanoparticles of the same diameters were considered for comparison. The most attenuating particles were found for both cases.

The harmful side-effect of UV light absorption by TiO2 particles is the generation of free radicals. Study of this phenomenon, using an electron paramagnetic resonance technique, was also carried out in this thesis. Comparison of the strength of the effect was done for two particle sizes administered onto either glass slides or porcine ear skin.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. C, Technica
ISSN-E: 1796-2226
ISBN: 978-951-42-8898-2
ISBN Print: 978-951-42-8897-5
Issue: 304
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2008. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.