Skin protection efficacy from UV irradiation and skin penetration property of polysaccharide-benzophenone conjugates as a sunscreen agent

Carbohydr Polym. 2018 Sep 1;195:534-541. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2018.05.010. Epub 2018 May 4.


Sunscreen materials have been developed to protect skin from UV radiation. However, many organic sunscreen materials are small molecules and absorbed into human skin after topical application and lead to systemic side effects. To improve the adverse effects of conventional sunscreen materials, we designed a sunscreen agent using an organic sunscreen material and a polymer. Dioxybenzone, an organic sunscreen compound is selected and polymerized with natural polymer pullulan. Polymerization not only provides a long polymer backbone to dioxybenzone, but also keeps the distance between benzene rings of the dioxybenzone and prevents reduction of photoabsorption intensity. UV/vis spectrophotometry confirmed that dioxybenzone-pullulan polymer (DOB-PUL) and dioxybenzone (DOB) demonstrated similar UV absorption. To measure the accumulation of sunscreen materials on skin, Franz diffusion cell was used to confirm the accumulation of DOB and lack of penetration of DOB-PUL. Most importantly, DOB showed higher plasma concentration after multiple applications compared to that of DOB-PUL.

Keywords: Organic sunscreen; Polysaccharide; Skin damage; Skin penetration; UV protection.

MeSH terms

  • Absorption, Radiation
  • Animals
  • Benzophenones / chemistry*
  • Glucans / chemistry
  • Mice
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Sunscreening Agents / chemical synthesis*
  • Sunscreening Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Sunscreening Agents / pharmacology
  • Sunscreening Agents / radiation effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Benzophenones
  • Glucans
  • Sunscreening Agents
  • pullulan
  • dioxybenzone