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The photocatalytic and cytotoxic effects of titanium dioxide particles used in sunscreen

Rampaul, A; (2006) The photocatalytic and cytotoxic effects of titanium dioxide particles used in sunscreen. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Titanium dioxide nanoparticles are used in sunscreens to reflect UV radiation from the skin. However, titanium dioxide as anatase and rutile crystal forms is a well-known photocatalyst. The nanoparticles are surface coated with inert inorganic oxides such as silica and alumina or organics such as organosilanes or silicone polymers and more recently, have been doped with manganese oxide. These modifications to the titanium dioxide particles are purported to prevent the production of harmful reactive oxygen species. A range of sunscreens was tested with crystal form and modification type identified via XRD, Raman Spectroscopy, XPS and SSNMR. The particle modification and crystal form determined whether the particles were inert or rapidly degraded methylene blue dye, and killed or protected cultured human epithelium cells. Novel solid state Electron Paramagnetic Resonance analysis showed that the greatest amount of superoxide anions was formed during UVA irradiation of the mixed anatase and rutile crystal forms coated with an organosilane. These particles also degraded methylene blue at a similar rate to Degussa P25, a standard uncoated titanium dioxide powder and produced an increase in UVA induced apoptosis of human keratinocytes. Double Stranded Breaks were observed extensively in cells exposed to UVA irradiated mixed anatase and rutile titanium dioxide with organosilane. A new apoptotic-like cell death mechanism may have been recognised during the UVA irradiation of animal and human cells in the presence of titanium dioxide. This research concludes that mixed anatase and rutile crystal forms of titanium dioxide coated with organosilane or dimethicone may not be safe to use in sunscreen lotions. A less harmful alternative for sunscreen formulations is the manganese doped rutile particles or the alumina coated rutile powders, both of which exhibited a protective effect on cultured epithelial cells.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The photocatalytic and cytotoxic effects of titanium dioxide particles used in sunscreen
Identifier: PQ ETD:593137
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1445813
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