Fabrication of second skin from keratin and melanin


Nowogrodski C, Simon I, Magdassi S, Shoseyov O. Fabrication of second skin from keratin and melanin. Polymers [Internet]. 2020;12 (11) :1 - 13.

Date Published:



Second skin is a topically applied, skin-conforming material that mimics human skin properties and bears potential cosmetic and e-skin applications. To successfully integrate with natural skin, characteristics such as color and skin features must be matched. In this work, we prepared bio-based skin-like films from cross-linked keratin/melanin films (KMFs), using a simple fabrication method and non-toxic materials. The films retained their stability in aqueous solutions, showed skin-like mechanical properties, and were homogenous and handleable, with non-granular surfaces and a notable cross-linked structure as determined by attenuated total reflection (ATR). In addition, the combination of keratin and melanin allowed for adjustable tones similar to those of natural human skin. Furthermore, KMFs showed light transmittance and UV-blocking (up to 99%) as a function of melanin content. Finally, keratin/melanin ink (KMI) was used to inkjet-print high-resolution images with natural skin pigmented features. The KMFs and KMI may offer advanced solutions as e-skin or cosmetics platforms.