Cyanoflan helps your skin regenerate better, protects it, and is eco-friendly. A greener future in health starts here.
There is a growing request by users, researchers, and decision-makers for greener solutions in every field of science and society. Rita Mota, a researcher on the CyanoCare project, is well aware of it, and that is one of the reasons she and Raquel Costa are working so hard to make sure that Cyanoflan makes it to the market.
This project started on Rita’s Master investigation, eleven years ago, when she first had contact with cyanobacteria. After studying its components and finding out different applications it could be used for, the passion grew. Nowadays, she is working in the Institute for Research and Innovation in Health of University of Porto (i3s), to create a polymer that can help to regenerate and protect the skin, especially with chronic wounds that are still a challenge for clinical treatments. This innovative product is a great alternative to other chemical solutions in the market since it comes from a natural source, it is present in the sea, which means there is no need to use fresh water resources, and its extraction is much easier and cheaper.
Cyanobacteria are similar to microalgae, although simpler. It produces natural compounds that can be isolated and produced in great quantities, creating polymers with various applications. So far Cyanoflan has been used to develop a coating to prevent infections in medical devices, but now the challenge is to take it to the cosmetic field so that it can be available for everybody. There are already tests that prove that it is non-toxic and non-allergic. Next moves involve in vivo and safety tests, to produce a product that helps to heal damaged skin, with special focus on chronic wounds, such as the ones developed by diabetes. This product can help to improve the barrier function of the skin, while it has a lasting moisturizer effect, and it protects fungi and bacteria from entering the wound.
Furthermore, the surplus of the polymer production can be used in the food and textile fields, for instance, which means this is not only an eco-friendly solution but also a zero-waste one.
EIT Health U.Porto’s programme PAI (Innovation Support Programme) has supported this project monetarily, to help with the remaining tests. Once this is done, they can start doing clinical studies and identify the full potential of Cyanoflan. After this, the goal is to create a start-up in the North of Portugal, that will boost economic growth as well as develop a highly demanded alternative to petrol-based solutions.