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Measurements of UV-generated free radicals/reactive oxygen species (ROS) in skin.

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FOM Institute, University of Applied Science and Technology TFH Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


Free radicals/reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated in skin by UV irradiation were measured by electron spin resonance (ESR). To increase the sensitivity of measurement the short life free radicals/ROS were scavenged and accumulated by using the nitroxyl probe 3-carboxy-2,2,5,5-tetrametylpyrrolidine-1-oxyl (PCA). The spatial distribution of free radicals/ROS measured in pig skin biopsies with ESR imaging after UV irradiation corresponds to the intensity decay of irradiance in the depth of the skin. The main part of free radicals/ROS were generated by UVA (320-400 nm) so that the spatial distribution of free radicals reaches up to the lower side of the dermis. In vivo measurements on human skin were performed with a L-band ESR spectrometer and a surface coil integrating the signal intensities from all skin layers to get a sufficient signal amplitude. Using this experimental arrangement the protection of UVB and UVA/B filter against the generation of free radicals/ROS in skin were measured. The protection against ROS and the repair of damages caused by them can be realized with active antioxidants characterized by a high antioxidative power (AP). The effect of UV filter and antioxidants corresponding to their protection against free radicals/ROS in skin generated by UVAB irradiation can be quantified by the new radical sun protection factor (RSF). The RSF indicates the increase of time for staying in the sun to generate the same number of free radicals/ROS in the skin like for the unprotected skin. Regarding the amount of generated free radicals/ROS in skin as an biophysical endpoint the RSF characterizes both the protection against UVB and UVA radiation.

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