Rejuvenated Skin? Plug Me In!
The fountain of youth – or, at least, youthful skin — may have been found in labs at Tel Aviv University and Harvard Medical School.
A team of researchers from these and other prestigious scientific and medical institutions has devised a non-invasive technique that harnesses pulsed electric fields to generate new skin tissue growth.
According to their research, the non-invasive tissue stimulation technique, using microsecond-pulsed, high-voltage, non-thermal electric fields, produces scarless skin rejuvenation and may revolutionize the treatment of degenerative skin diseases — including aging.
The study, led by Dr. Alexander Golberg, was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
“Pulsed electrical field technology has many advantages, which have already proved effective — for example, in food preservation, tumor removal, and wound disinfection,” said Dr. Golberg.
“Our new application may jump start the secretion of new collagen and capillaries in problematic skin areas. 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 a healthcare game changer.”
The pulsed electric fields affect only the cell membrane itself, inducing nanoscale defects on the cell membranes. The released growth factors increase the metabolism of the remaining cells, generating new tissue.
“We have identified in rats the specific pulsed electric field parameters that lead to prominent proliferation of the epidermis, formation of microvasculature, and secretion of new collagen at treated areas without scarring,” said Dr. Golberg. “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.”
The researchers are currently developing a low-cost device for use in clinical trials in order to test the safety and efficacy of the technology in humans.