Regulation of the fatty acid lipidome in ageing skin: a route towards novel anti-inflammatory products

Lead Research Organisation: Aston University
Department Name: Sch of Life and Health Sciences


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Technical Summary


Planned Impact



10 25 50
Description We have developed methods that are sufficiently sensitive to characterise the regulation of the fat composition (lipidome) in skin cells.We have identified that a unique epigenetic signature, i.e. a mark on the DNA, is involved in regulating the genes that are associated with the lipid profile which is more prevalent in skin cells from older donors. We have shown that the altered lipid profile (lower levels of n-7, n-9 and n-10 polyunsaturated fatty acids) is driving inflammation in skin cells.
Exploitation Route The future findings may support improved skin health care during ageing.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

Description This project commenced on August 1st 2014. Our findings on existing methods and sensitivity of lipid analysis have been used by Unilever to establish a new method on site. WE have explored the potential for filing a patent. WE have identified a novel epigenetic marker associated with ageing skin
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Societal,Economic

Description Ageing skin 
Organisation Unilever
Department Unilever Research and Development Vlaardingen B.V.
Country Netherlands 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Aston has contributed methods on fatty acid analysis
Collaborator Contribution Unilever has contributed methods on skin culture
Impact None to date
Start Year 2014
Description Heartlands Foundation Trust presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 20 staff attended to continuing professional development about lipids during ageing. The visit sparked additional conversations about a new NIHR research grant.The stakeholders were also able to provide new contacts into primary care.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
Description Talk and poster presentations 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Poster presentation prize winner, British Society for REsearch on Ageing, Chathyan Pararsa Prize winner 2015, UCL London, UK
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015