Ucuuba, Tamanu, and Aloe Vera Butter As A New Formulation to Enhance Bacterial Resistance And UV Protection- Final Report

In the past 3 months, I have been working diligently under my mentor, Dr. Jaimelee Rizzo, to investigate various ways to synthesize natural antimicrobial surfaces that provide protection from UV rays. Antimicrobial surfaces have the potential to prevent the growth of microorganisms, i.e. bacteria. The recipe for my surfaces is a combination of exotic butters, natural plant-based oils, and powdered supplements. In my experiments, the fixed dependent variable is ucuuba butter, aloe vera butter, and tamanu butter and the independent variables are the different plant-based oils and powdered supplements-which are infused to enhance the properties of the butter. Naturally, the butters have known restorative properties that aboriginal civilizations used for centuries to help with varying dermatological conditions; by infusing different oils and powdered supplements, we can fortify these butters to have increased wellness abilities. The antidotal effect of our starting materials is attributed to fatty acids naturally produced in their respective flowering plants. Various studies suggest essential fatty acids and their metabolites are effective in reducing the epidermal burdens caused by microbes. Common small chain fatty acids found in the starting material are trimyristin, lactins, salicylic acid, glycerols, and glycolipids- these are known to inhibit the growth of bacteria. Inherently these biological constituents are the first line defense in warding off infections in the body.

Using all-natural ingredients is favorable in this project because the skincare industry is straying away from the use of chemical products. In general, natural skin products are earth-friendly, biodegradable, reduce any uncomfortable chemical irritation, nutrient-rich with natural fatty acids, and can prevent adverse chemical imbalances throughout the body. In concluding this project, it is anticipated that we will be able to provide a naturopathic remedy for sterile wound healing while working to prevent sun-induced cancer.The formulation of antimicrobial surfaces can be divided into two protocols: the first is to generate and test the antimicrobial surfaces followed by demonstrating ample resistance towards UV radiation.

To being, individual butters are liquefied through via a hot water bath. About 4 mL of each sample butter is aliquoted into separate beakers followed by the addition of 2 mL of an essential oil is infused, and no more than 1 gram of powdered supplement. The mixture is then plated in a petri dish and left to solidify at room temperature. These samples are then transported to a partner university, LIU Post, to be tested for bacterial resistance.

Using a tryptic soy agar plate, 0.8 cm plugs of agar were removed. 175 µL of each surface was liquefied and placed in different agar holes, which were left to solidify again. 100 µL of 106 S. aureus was spread on the agar using a sterile spreader and each plate was left to incubate overnight at 37 °C. Antimicrobial activity was assessed the next day based on the diameter with which bacteria did not grow around the antimicrobial surface- this area is considered the zone of clearance, where a diameter greater than 1 cm is classified as antimicrobial.

In a transparent ziplock bag filled with UV detecting color beads, each antimicrobial surface is applied evenly over the bag- in a manner similar to the application of sunscreen. UV radiation is then induced over each ziplock bag for about 20 seconds. Samples were then ranked on a 1-10 scale based on the drastic color change in relation to a blank sample of individual butters and a comparative sunscreen.

So far, 14 different essential oils were incorporated in each of the three butters. Overall, 94 different samples were concocted, and about 45 different samples provided ample microbial resistance when tested against S. aureus. When tested for UV protection, about 40 samples demonstrated some degree of UV protection. About 35 samples were able to demonstrate both UV protection and antimicrobial resistance. The materials most commonly combined to get desirable results incorporate black cumin oil, marine powder, and ginseng powder. The most favorable results recorded to date are samples RP 65-69, 73-77, 83-85. Specifically, RP 65 had the widest margin to inhibit bacterial growth at greater than 4 cm and no UV light penetration- this sample was made with a mixture of 3.85 mL of ucuuba butter, 3 mL of black cumin oil, and 0.2 grams of marine powder. Looking forward to the continuation of this project I hope to discover more combinations that offer a zone of clearance greater than 4 cm while advancing this study to test our samples on live living cells.

As I am to graduate in spring 2019, weighing my options for a career is a pressing matter. Having spent time in Dr. Rizzo’s lab studying a cosmetic chemistry based project, this seems like a potential field of work. Understanding that the hardest part of research is failure and that patience in making samples work is the only drawback; striving to help out others is the reward and motivating force. Having Dr. Rizzo as a mentor is really beneficial because she gives me enough space to explore my research personally in order to figure out what works and what doesn’t, but she is opened enough where she welcomes questions to further my understanding of what is happening in the lab.

Components and Results -1vu56hy

 

Ucuuba, Tamanu, and Aloe Vera Butter As A New Formulation to Enhance Bacterial Resistance And UV Protection: Blog 2

Throughout the course of the summer, I have been conducting research, under the supervision of Dr. Jaimelee Rizzo, where I have studied ways to generate antimicrobial surfaces that can provide UV resistance by combining indigenous kinds of butter, natural oils, and organic powdered ingredients. Since the beginning of this investigative study, the base of my formulations has been ucuuba butter, aloe vera butter and tamanu butter. These kinds of butter, individually, are known for having a degree of resistance to bacterial growth, cleansing properties, and rejuvenating ability which is due to the relative amounts of fatty acids naturally found in the plants they are derived from. Various studies suggest the use of essential fatty acids and their metabolites are effective in reducing the epidermal burdens caused by microbes. Small chain fatty acids common in the starting materials used in this study include trimyristin, lactins, salicylic acid, glycerols, and glycolipids, which are known to inhibit the growth of bacteria. Our bodies also naturally produce these biological chemicals to ward off and protect us from infection. The incorporation of natural oils in the production of antimicrobial surfaces further enhances microbial resistance as well as provides a potential means to obstruct UV penetration- ultimately prevent the development of cancer.

A partnered group at LIU Post, students under the supervision of Dr. Karin Melkonian, follows a protocol for the bacterial testing done on the samples generated in my experiments. At LIU post, our research associates test the bacteria S.aureus against samples and measure the diameter for which bacteria does not grow. We assess samples as being antimicrobial when the diameter of clearance is greater than 1 cm, however, we are looking for products with a far great zone of clearance, which will be tested further against other bacteria. Throughout this project, 14 different essential oils were incorporated with each of the three kinds of butter. Overall 94 different samples were concocted, and about 45 different samples provided ample microbial resistance when tested against S. aureus. When tested for UV protection, about 40 samples demonstrated some degree of UV protection. UV protection is determined based on a 1-10 scale where the degree of color change is visible on UV color changing beads, 10 being no UV light penetration. Overall, about 35 samples were able to demonstrate both UV protection and antimicrobial resistance. In general, the materials that are most commonly combined to get the results that we consider most favorable are samples that incorporate black cumin oil, marine powder, and ginseng powder. The most favorable results that have been recorded today are samples RP 65 which had the widest margin to inhibit bacterial growth at greater than 4 cm and absolutely no UV light penetration- this sample was made with a mixture of 3.85 milliliters of ucuuba butter, 3 milliliters of black cumin oil, and 0.2 grams of marine powder. Looking forward in the continuation of this project I hope to find more combinations that offer a zone of clearance greater than 4 cm and advancing this study to test our samples on live living cells. By the end of this project, it is anticipated that we will be able to provide a means to address more sterile wound healing techniques.

Looking to the future, as I am projected to graduate in spring 2019, weighing my options for a career is a pressing matter. Having spent a quality amount of time in Dr. Rizzo’s lab studying a project closely related to cosmetic chemistry, this seems like a potential field of work. Understanding that the hardest part of any research project is failure and that patience in finding samples that work is the only drawback to this type of study, but striving to help out a population of others is the potential reward and driving force. This research project has the potential to change the way wounds are treated in active environments. Although chemically enhanced skin care products, which are used daily, are effective they carry a lot of side effects and some unknown long-term changes may be observed. Switching to natural products is a safe way to treat wounds or infections while preserving a natural chemical balance of the human body.

 

Investigative Questions:

What are different ways to increase the zones of clearance of the tested surfaces, which will increase antimicrobial resistance?

How can we maximize UV resistance and antimicrobial growth concurrently while maintaining the smallest possible ratio of materials?

 

Components and Results -1vu56hy

“Ucuuba, Tamanu, and Aloe Vera Butter As A New Formulation to Enhance Bacterial Resistance And UV Protection” Blog Post

The research project that I have been working on over this summer encapsulates the world of cosmetic chemistry, specifically, I am studying how to generate various types of all natural antimicrobial surfaces through infusing exotic butters and various types of oils. An antimicrobial surface is an agent that has the potential to prevent the growth of microorganisms, such as bacteria; concurrently in the lab, ultraviolet tests are done to determine if these surfaces will also provide resistance to UV light. For these experiments, the fixed variable is the type of base butter that is used- ucuuba butter, aloe vera butter, and tamanu butter- whereas different plant-based oils are combined with these butters to enhance the healing and protective characteristics of the butter. One of the reasons why the use of all natural ingredients is favorable in this project is due to the fact that the skin care industry, typically high-end companies, is straying away from chemical products. In general, natural skin products are earth-friendly, biodegradable, reduce any uncomfortable chemical irritation, nutrient-rich with natural fatty acids, and prevent adverse chemical imbalances. By the end of this project, it is anticipated that we will be able to provide a more natural means to sterile wound healing techniques and prevent harmful cancers caused by UV rays.

The methods of this project can be broken up into two parts: the protocol to generate the antimicrobial surfaces and the protocol for the UV radiation test.

To generate the antimicrobial surface, the individual kinds of butter used are initially liquefied through the use of a hot water bath. About 4 mL of each sample is aliquoted into a beaker and 2 mL of an essential oil is infused. The mixture is then plated in a petri dish and left to solidify at room temperature.

Using a tryptic soy agar plate, 0.8 cm plugs of agar were removed. 175 µL of each butter and oil sample was liquefied and placed in different agar holes, which were left to be hardened. 100 µL of 106 S. aureus was spread on the agar using a sterile spreader and each plate was left to incubate overnight at 37 °C. Antimicrobial activity was assessed based on if the zones of clearance were greater than 1 cm around each sample plug.

Following the creation of the surface, UV radiation tests are conducted. Each antimicrobial formulation is generated using the above procedure. A ziplock bag is filled with UV detecting color beads, and each antimicrobial surface is applied evenly over the bag. Each bag is then placed under UV radiation for about 20 seconds. Samples were then rated based on how drastic the color change in relation to a blank sample of individual kinds of butter and a comparative sunscreen.