Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com – @BednarChuck
Researchers at Tel Aviv University and Harvard Medical School have reportedly developed a new, non-invasive technique that will help make a person’s skin look younger by using pulsed electric fields to rejuvenate epidermal function and appearance.
The technique, which is described in the latest edition of the journal Scientific Reports, it a non-invasive technique that can generate skin tissue growth by stimulating tissue using microsecond-pulsed, high-voltage, non-thermal electric fields.
While they note that Americans spend more than $10 billion per year on anti-aging and beauty products, with little to no permanent success, the new technique would enable skin rejuvenation without scars or the side-effects of treatments such as Botulinum toxin. Furthermore, they claim that the technique could also improve the treatment of degenerative skin diseases.
Potential ‘gamechanger’ in non-invasive skin therapy
“Pulsed electrical field technology has many advantages, which have already proved effective – for example, in food preservation, tumor removal, and wound disinfection,” said Dr. Alexander Golberg of the TAU Porter School of Environmental Studies, lead investigator of the study.
“Our new application may jumpstart the secretion of new collagen and capillaries in problematic skin areas,” he added. “Considering that, in the modern era of aging populations and climate change, degenerative skin diseases affect one in three adults over the age of 60, this has the potential to be an healthcare gamechanger.”
Most current treatments used to rejuvenate the skin use a variety of different physical and chemical techniques to affect cells and the extracellular matrix, but as the researchers explain, many of these methods can cause scarring. The use of pulsed electric fields, however, impacts only the cell membrane, preserving the architecture of the extracellular matrix and releasing a series of growth factors what serve as the catalyst for new cell and tissue growth.
The authors report that by using electrical fields, they can induce nanoscale defects on the cell membranes, thus causing a small number of cells in affected areas to die. The released growth factors increase the metabolism of the cells that remain, leading to the generation of new tissues. They are currently in the process of developing a new, inexpensive device that will be used in human clinical trials to ensure the safety and efficacy of the new technology.
“Our results suggest that pulsed electric fields can improve skin function and potentially serve as a novel non-invasive skin therapy for multiple degenerative skin diseases,” Dr. Golberg said.
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