Manufacturing Microalgae for Skin Care

December 13, 2005 | Contact Author | By: Patrick Stolz and Barbara Obermayer, Pentapharm LTD
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Keywords: biotechnology | microalgae | intracellular oxidative stress | collagen I synthesis | Nannochloropsis oculata | Dunaliella salina | manufacturing

Abstract: Biotechnology methods are described for manufacturing of contaminant-free microalgae with potential skin care benefi ts, such as collagen synthesis and reduction of intracellular oxidative stress.

Microalgae from the sea are sources of vitamins, pigments, proteins and other substances providing benefits in skin care compositions. Recently, biotechnology has enabled the manufacture of high-quality micraoalga cultures that are completely free of contaminations. This article describes the manufacturing process and uses in vitro cell tests to illustrate the ability of three manufactured microalga extracts to influence intracellular oxidative stress and collagen I synthesis.

Algae belong to the oldest vegetable organisms on Earth dating as far back as the Precambrian era (3.8 billion years ago) with the development of prokaryotic cyanophytes.

Algae are characterized by a large diversity of species: their total number is estimated at approximately 280,000, of which approximately 39,000 are described. The algae range in length from 70 m for macroalgae to a few microns for microalgae (such as some protozoans). Microalgae are present in plankton, where they form the so-called phytoplankton.

Due to their composition, algae constitute a valuable source for different organic substances, including proteins, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, inorganic substances, trace elements and pigments. They have been utilized by different industries, which explains why their worldwide production is increasing.