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Carbohydr Polym. 2014 Jan 30;101:464-70. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2013.09.074. Epub 2013 Oct 1.

Evaluation of the effects of chitin nanofibrils on skin function using skin models.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tottori University, 4-101 Koyama-Minami, Tottori 680-8553, Japan. Electronic address:


Chitins are highly crystalline structures that are predominantly found in crustacean shells. Alpha-chitin is composed of microfibers, which are made up of nanofibrils that are 2-5 nm in diameter and 30 nm in length and embedded in a protein matrix. Crystalline nanofibrils can also be prepared by acid treatment. We verified the effect of chitin nanofibrils (NF) and nanocrystals (NC) on skin using a three-dimensional skin culture model and Franz cells. The application of NF and NC to skin improved the epithelial granular layer and increased granular density. Furthermore, NF and NC application to the skin resulted in a lower production of TGF-β compared to that of the control group. NF and NC might have protective effects to skin. Therefore, their potential use as components of skin-protective formulations merits consideration.


Chitin nanofibrils; Franz cells; Skin; Skin-protective agents; Three-dimensional skin culture model

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