Board member of the ESMB - Laboratory of Marine Biochemistry and Ecotoxicology - University of Studies of Palermo, Italy
The marine environment provides a very different surrounding compared to the terrestrial environment, leading to the production of specific and potent active molecules that may not have been present on land. It has shown an abundance of biological and chemical diversity, with thousands of chemical compounds being isolated in recent decades.
These compounds continue to show potentialities and health benefits that stimulate many industrial applications, from nutraceutics, to pharmaceutics and cosmaceutics. Antioxidants, such as polyphenols of marine origin, have been demonstrated to be very effective in counteract oxidative stress associated with unprotected UV exposure and the cosmetic sector seems to be the most promising for the use of these components.
Within the framework of some international projects on marine biotechnology, our research group was involved in activities aimed to verify the potentialities of marine bioactive compounds for industrial applications. Some marine algae and phanerogames, were studied for extraction and characterization of antioxidant compounds, that were tested in cell culture, in order to verify their protective effects against cell damage, wrinkles formation and risk of melanoma, associated with prolonged and unprotected exposure to UV. The results demonstrated the utility of these resources in the formulation of cosmetics against photoageing.