Using Melanogenesis to Study Antioxidants

Building upon our research on the non-enzymatic synthesis of melanins, we explored the possibility that the reactions involved in the synthesis of melanins could serve as the basis for the study of and search for compounds with anti-oxidant properties. The synthesis of melanins can be achieved through air-mediated oxidation or through reactive-oxygen-species-mediated oxidation and can readily be monitored by the changes in color. In addition, a broad variety of different precursors can be used to generate melanins. Thus, using melanogenesis as the foundation for an anti-oxidant assay, one can evaluate the effects of potential anti-oxidants against air- or reactive-oxygen-species mediated oxidations and evaluate the consistency of the anti-oxidant effects when different precursors for melanogenesis are used.