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Nat Nanotechnol. 2011 May;6(5):291-5. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2011.37. Epub 2011 Apr 3.

Nanoparticles reduce nickel allergy by capturing metal ions.

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  • 1Center for Regenerative Therapeutics and Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Abstract

Approximately 10% of the population in the USA suffer from nickel allergy, and many are unable to wear jewellery or handle coins and other objects that contain nickel. Many agents have been developed to reduce the penetration of nickel through skin, but few formulations are safe and effective. Here, we show that applying a thin layer of glycerine emollient containing nanoparticles of either calcium carbonate or calcium phosphate on an isolated piece of pig skin (in vitro) and on the skin of mice (in vivo) prevents the penetration of nickel ions into the skin. The nanoparticles capture nickel ions by cation exchange, and remain on the surface of the skin, allowing them to be removed by simple washing with water. Approximately 11-fold fewer nanoparticles by mass are required to achieve the same efficacy as the chelating agent ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid. Using nanoparticles with diameters smaller than 500 nm in topical creams may be an effective way to limit the exposure to metal ions that can cause skin irritation.

Comment in

  • Animal models for nickel allergy. [Nat Nanotechnol. 2011]
PMID:
21460828
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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