Shellfish could be key to fighting wrinkles

Nanoparticles found in the shells of lobsters and prawns can stimulate stem cell growth and could have implications for anti-ageing skincare. Scientists from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, US, discovered that nanoparticles of chitosan could have potential in enhancing the appearance of ageing skin and also accelerating the wound-healing process by stimulating skin cell growth. The team demonstrated that the particles had skin regenerative properties in tests on skin cell fibroblasts and keratinocytes, which could have implications for anti-ageing or scar-reducing skincare products. Chitosan is a natural, non-toxic particle that can be obtained from chitin, the main part of the shells of shrimp, lobster and the beak of the octopus and squid. Chitosan has long been used by the medical and food industries for its antibacterial properties with applications including cavity prevention in dentistry and preservatives in food packaging. The research was reported in the International Journal of Nano and Biomaterials.