An innovative approach to develop sustainable marine active ingredients from macroalgae

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  • September 21, 2015
  • 3 mins of read time

An innovative approach to develop sustainable marine active ingredients from macroalgae

Erwan Le Gélébart [1], Laetitia Cattuzzato [2], Amélie Leick [3] [1] BiotechMarine, Innovation Direction, Z.I.. - B.P. 72 - 22260 Pontrieux - France [2]
2015, 23rd IFSCC conference

World s Oceans biodiversity is a significant source of new active ingredients. Marine flora of the north coast of Brittany in France is particularly abundant and diverse due to favorable environmental conditions. In the last decades microalgae have been of growing interest whereas macroalgae stayed relatively unexploited regarding the large number of species available. Today only a few macroalgae are of an economic interest whereas it exists about 800 species on Brittany s coast out of the 9000 at world scale. These macroalgae are relatively poorly studied and valorized. One of the reasons is the low accessibility of the biomass as some species are not so abundant and it s not always possible to cultivate them. We made the choice to be interested in the rare and poorly known species by establishing a technique allowing to overcome the main problem by developing a method to cultivate macroalgae cells. This technique consisted in selecting macroalgal cells from a single drop of marine water and keeping them at the cell state during all the process. This required isolation work to obtain monospecific cultures. As biodiversity is remarkable in this region we built a bank of macroalgae cells strains of potential interest. Obtained strains were cultured, at first, in small volumes in autotrophic conditions then the main difficulty was to keep cells in good conditions during the scale-up in order to reach industrial scale. Next culture conditions as salinity, nature of nutrients, mixing, gas introduction, temperature and light were modulated to obtain an optimal biomass quality and productivity. These first steps were conducted without knowing the name of species in culture so it was necessary to identify studied strains. Identifications were done by microscopic examination by the French National Museum of Natural History and molecular barcoding by the French National Center for Scientific Research. Witnessing the rarity of the sourcing some strains were difficult to name because of the lack of information regarding their characteristics or DNA sequences. Resulting biomass from optimized cultures was analyzed to determine phyto-chemical content of cultivated strains by HPLC-MS. Therefore strains were screened to select those which were showing the best phyto-chemical composition and the best culture characteristics. Later, specific extraction techniques were developed according to the nature of the compounds of interest highlighted by the phyto-chemical analysis. Algae cell wall is often very hard to break and the cell content is not readily accessible. To take the best of the cell it is necessary to optimize extraction of metabolites of interest. Highlighted components reputed of a cosmetic interest allow us to choose in-vitro tests like transcriptomic and proteomics studies which will give the firsts clues of the activity of the algal cell extract. Conclusive tests were followed up by the development of an in-vivo formula which was tested on a panel of volunteers to verify and evaluate the efficacy of the active ingredient. This technology gives us access to an entire segment of biodiversity which remains unexplored today to give birth to very innovative and sustainable cosmetic active ingredients.

Seppic, Innovation Direction, 127 Chemin de la Poudrerie, B.P.90228 - 81105 Castres Cedex, France [3] BiotechMarine, Innovation Direction, Strasbourg - France