Using light to reduce skin wrinkles?

A recent American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac briefly describes how two German researchers have discovered that high intensity light can reduce facial wrinkles (this is the first item in this PressPac). This could lead to a potential alternative to Botox and cosmetic surgery for easing facial wrinkles. The scientists applied high intensity visible light from LEDs (light emitting diodes), commonly used in TV remote controls or traffic lights. The researchers said that after several weeks of 'light' treatment, the patients got a rejuvenated skin and reduced wrinkle levels. Read more...

A recent American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac briefly describes how two German researchers have discovered that high intensity light can reduce facial wrinkles (this is the first item in this PressPac). This could lead to a potential alternative to Botox and cosmetic surgery for easing facial wrinkles. The scientists applied high intensity visible light from LEDs (light emitting diodes), commonly used in TV remote controls or traffic lights. The researchers said that after several weeks of 'light' treatment, the patients got a rejuvenated skin and reduced wrinkle levels. Read more...

Wrinkle levels before and after irradiation

You can see on the left two photographs showing wrinkle levels before (top) and after irradiation (bottom) "with WARP 10, a device originally developed for self-aid administration under severe battlefield conditions, for instance, pain alleviation. Less pronounced wrinkle levels with shorter wrinkle valleys after 9 weeks." (Credit: University of Ulm and American Chemical Society) Here is a link to the original version of these photos.

This study was done by Andrei Sommer and Dan Zhu, of the Institute of Micro and Nanomaterials at the University of Ulm in Germany. The two scientists "point out that high-intensity visible light has been used in medicine for more than 40 years to speed healing of wounds. That light actually penetrates into the skin, causing changes in the sub-surface tissue. Until now, however, scientists have not known the physicochemical nature of those changes."

Here are some -- sparse -- additional details about what the researchers did. "They report identifying how the visible light works -- by changing the molecular structure of a glue-like layer of water on elastin, the protein that provides elasticity in skin, blood vessels, heart and other body structures. Figuratively speaking, the light strips away those water molecules that are involved in the immobilization of elastin, gradually restoring its elastic function and thus reducing facial wrinkles. 'We are justified in believing that our approach can be easily converted to deep body rejuvenation programs,' the researchers state."

This study will soon be published in Crystal Growth & Design under the title "From Microtornadoes to Facial Rejuvenation: Implication of Interfacial Water Layers." It is available online since September 27, 2008 as an ASAP Article (As Soon As Publishable).

Here is a link to the abstract. "Crystalline interfacial water layers have been observed at room temperature on both hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces -- in air and subaquatically. Their implication in biology (and evolution) was postulated in a visionary paper in 1971 by Szent Györgyi. Today, they are believed to play a fundamental role in protein folding. A recent X-ray diffraction study reports on their presence on crystals in contact with their growth solution. Their subaquatic persistence on hydrophobic solids was reported in 2007. Their relevance in nanoscale phenomena is reflected by the multidisciplinary focus in their study. In the course of a systematic exploration of interfacial water layers on solids we discovered microtornadoes, found a complementary explanation to the surface conductivity on hydrogenated diamond, and arrived at a practical method to repair elastin degeneration using light. The result was rejuvenated skin, reduced wrinkle levels, juvenile complexion, and lasting resilience."

The full technical paper is also available, both in HTML version and as a PDF document (4 pages, 612 KB).

Here are the conclusions of the article. "We showed that consideration of crystalline interfacial water layers leads to progress in a variety of fields including but not limited to chemistry, physical chemistry, physics, material sciences, nanotechnology, proteomics, meteorology, and biomedicine. The principal discovery described in this work is that by targeting water layers on elastin, facial wrinkle levels could be significantly reduced by irradiation of the skin with visible light, which was found to interact with interfacial water layers on model substrates. Besides its function in the skin, elastin provides elasticity to the heart and blood vessels. Here the aqueous quality of the elastin environment is more pronounced than in the skin. Therefore, we are justified in believing that our approach can be easily converted to deep body rejuvenation programs."

Sources: American Chemical Society Weekly PressPac, October 15, 2008; and various websites

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