Electric pulse can replenish collagen in skin


Billions are spent each year on treatments that promise to preserve a youthful complexion.
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A non-invasive technique that harnesses pulsed electric fields to generate new skin tissue growth has been devised by a team of Tel Aviv University and Harvard Medical School researchers.

Existing therapies to rejuvenate the skin use physical and chemical methods to affect cells and the extracellular matrix, but also induce scarring. Researchers say pulsed electric fields affect only the cell membrane and release multiple growth factors to spark new cell and tissue growth.

The study was published in Scientific Reports and led by Alexander Goldberg of TAU's Porter School of Environmental Studies. "Degenerative skin diseases affect one in three adults over the age of 60," he said. "This has the potential to be a game changer."

Goldberg said experiments in rats has shown the "secretion of new collagen at treated areas without scarring". The researchers are now developing a low-cost device to be used in human clinical trials.

Since 2000 botulinium toxin – or Botox – has been a popular treatment to smooth lines and wrinkles on an ageing face. But Botox injections are only a temporary solution and carry risks, some neurological.

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