February 8, 2014

You always wondered and know you know it's the popping proteins

Why do your fingers wrinkle in the bath? It's all down to popping proteins, scientists say

Scientists have finally answered one of life's great mysteries - why our fingers get wrinkly in the bath.

German researchers have uncovered the secret of the skin's elasticity, and say it comes down to expandable lattices.
The team now say their research could lead to new treatments for skin complaints and more effective artificial skin.

 Structure Keratin Filaments

The outer layer of our skin absorbs water and swells up, forming ridges – but quickly returns to its old state when dry.
The swelling and absorption of water occur in the outermost skin layer, which is made of dead cells that are stacked in layers like bricks.  These cells are filled with a network of filaments made of the protein keratin.

These keratin strands interlock to form a three-dimensional lattice – which can increase its volume by five times when the strands stretch out, the researchers found.
Posted by Jill Fallon at February 8, 2014 11:59 AM | Permalink