Fountain Of Youth Found? Stem Cells Eliminate Wrinkles
Brett Smith for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
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According to the Scottish company Pharmacells, these modern day Ponce de Leons may have an exciting development to celebrate as the company is about to start clinical trials of a treatment that uses stem cells derived from a patient’s own blood to eliminate wrinkles.
“The skin has a natural elastic property which comes from cells known as fibroblasts,” Athol Haas, the company’s chief executive, told the Telegraph’s Richard Gray.
“The ability of the body to produce this elastic material slows down with age because the number of these fibroblasts decreases,” he said. “By introducing large numbers of stem cells into the right place, we are increasing the ability of the body to produce this natural material. It will be long lasting, we think at least five years if not longer.”
Commercially using stem cells for skin care is actually being done today. However, the stem cells are derived from a sample of the patient’s fat cells, not their blood. According to Haas, his company’s treatment is superior to those that use fat-derived stem cells.
“The stem cells in fat are more mature so the quality is not so good, and the numbers of them in it are much smaller, around five or 10 million,” Haas explained. “We are talking about 500 million, very high quality, pure stem cells and there is definitely a link between dose and efficacy. The more you have, the better it should be.”
These ‘pure’ stem cells and their potential applications were first discovered by American researchers about 10 years ago, and are currently used in hospitals to treat organs in the event of a trauma.
Current anti-aging and anti-wrinkle treatments involve the injection of collagen or Botox into the skin. While these treatments are effective at removing wrinkles, many people complain that they can result in an unnatural look. This suggests that the success of the new treatment will likely be determined on how natural the results look or if the company can effectively sell the results of their product.
In addition to treating wrinkles, Pharmacells said the stem cell could be used against acne scars and stretch marks. The company is also hopeful that the skin treatment could also translate into other uses, including treatment of heart attacks, Alzheimers, Parkinson’s disease and cancer.
Pharmacells said they will be conducting the trials with a clinic in Hong Kong to test the treatment’s safety and effectiveness. Scientists familiar with the groundbreaking treatment said it could be five to ten years before stem cell treatments for wrinkles are widely available.
“It is an exciting prospect as the science of stem cells will influence plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine significantly in the future,” said Rajiv Grover, the president elect of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. “There is some evidence stem cells, when injected, can improve skin quality, but until you have had studies that look at the long-term effect and the safety, you cannot be sure.”