A closer look at melanin structure
The colour of our hair, skin and eyes is due to melanin, which provides pigmentation for the cells. Melanin, also characterised as heterogenous, deeply coloured and insoluble, protects our skin from the sun. Its polydopamine synthetic analogue has raised great interest in the materials community. However, there is a lack of understanding of its functions due to its heterogeneous polymer structure. In this context, the EU-funded Mel.Photo.Protect project will fill the knowledge gap by explaining the melanin structure and its general photo-protecting function by utilising computational chemistry. The findings will also shed light on the possible pathogenic role of melanin chemiexcitation and provide new principles for the design of polydopamine-based functional materials.