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J Photochem Photobiol B. 2007 May 25;87(2):95-104. Epub 2007 Mar 14.

UV-Filter combinations under UV-A exposure: concomitant quantification of over-all spectral stability and molecular integrity.

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Istituto di Biochimica, Via Ranieri, Università Politecnica delle Marche, I-60131 Ancona, Italy. <>


Efficient UV-absorbing molecules are designed to protect against UV-light over-exposure. However, upon UV exposure they may change spectral performance or act as photooxidants via generation of free radicals and reactive oxygen species alone or in combination with others. Therefore, information about their photointegrity which comprises (i) stable absorbance and (ii) absence of UV-induced molecular breakdown, is fundamental. In this study, seven commonly used UV-A, UV-B and broad spectrum UV-AB filters and their combinations, were incorporated into phosphatidylcholine (PC)-based liposomes and exposed to UV-A (275 kJ/m(2)). Spectral integrity, evaluated by recording UV-absorbance spectra of the extracted filter molecules and molecular integrity, assessed indirectly via quantification of UV-A induced PC peroxidation, revealed that spectral stability of filter molecules alone or in combination (e.g. trianilino p-carboxyethylhexyl triazine, EHT plus ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnamate, OMC) does not necessarily imply absence of radical generation and that spectral lability does not necessarily have to lead to radical generation and molecular decay (e.g. OMC). This simple system capable of discriminating between essentially photostable and photounstable UV-absorbing molecules alone and in mixtures, might be useful for determining the influence of UV-protection as well as of photostability of UV-absorbers with regard to UV-induced genotoxic/phototoxic and photoageing-related, radical-based processes.

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