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Understanding how mild skin hyperthermia influences vitamin D skin absorption and metabolism during nutritional supplementation
Closing date
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Supervisors
Dr Stuart Jones, stuart.jones@kcl.ac.uk, Dr Jones heads a research team at King’s that is focused on understanding how molecules cross biological barriers with a special emphasis on the skin. , King’s College London
Dr Mohamed Alhnan, alhnan@kcl.ac.uk, Mohamed’s research focuses on applying the latest advances in material science and electronics in the pharmaceutical field., King’s College London
Project Details

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Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is an essential oil-soluble secosteroid hormone synthesised from 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin by ultraviolet B (UVB; 219-315 nm) and metabolised by the liver and kidney into its active form. Cholecalciferol can also be obtained from foods, but due to insufficient sun exposure and limited dietary intake approximately 1 billion people reported to be vitamin D deficient globally (McCourt et al., Nutrition, 75-76, 110767).

The world-wide sales of vitamin D supplements are increasing but, the vast majority of these supplements are orally administered. The oral vitamin D supplements suffer from poor compliance, gastrointestinal (GI) side-effects, the risk of overdose and poor quality (Boonen et al., 2006. J Intern Med, 259:539-52; Unson et al., 2006. Contemporary clinical trials, 27, 215-26, Wan et al., 2020 in press https://doi.org/10.1111/bcp.14521), therefore there is a need to provide alternative methods of vitamin D supplementation.

King’s College London have synthesised a novel pre-vitamin D compound that can provide vitamin D supplementation using a transdermal patch. However, to achieve optimal administration there is a need to better understand the local skin metabolism. In this project the team at King’s will work with Curapel, who have developed and patented a heat patch (GB2544813), which could help to control the local metabolism of vitamin D in the skin (Kassis and Søndergaard. Arch Dermatol Res 1982; 273: 301–306). In addition, the Jones group have shown heat fluidises the outer layer of the skin, the Stratum corneum, to facilitate the absorption of hydrophobic agents such as vitamin D after application to the skin (Wood et al., Eur. J. Pharm. Biopharm. 2012. 81:642–649).

The aim of this study is to understand how mild skin hyperthermia influences vitamin D skin absorption and metabolism during nutritional supplementation with a view to using this information to develop a new approach to administer vitamin D supplementation by direct delivery into the skin.

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