Melanins are a group of biological pigments that are responsible for the coloration of skin, choroid and hair in humans, among other things. They are formed from the amino acid tyrosine as part of a multi-stage process called melanogenesis. This biosynthesis takes place mainly in melanocytes and in the retinal pigment epithelium.
Melanin protects human skin, especially the stem cells of the stratum basale, from incoming UV rays from sunlight. This prevents DNA damage that can lead to mutations and malignant transformation of the cells. UV protection also prevents light-sensitive molecules such as folic acid from being broken down in the blood capillaries of the skin.
After absorption of a high-energy photon, the hit molecules enter an energetic state that can generate radicals. Melanin has the property of converting the absorbed light energy into heat energy within a few femtoseconds (10-15 s), thus preventing cell damage by radicals (ultra-fast internal conversion).
The chip is designed to help support the function and production of melanin.
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