Furthermore, the Switzerland-based company has developed a method to cultivate large quantities of the plant cells which allows it to use the benefits of this plant. Concentrating on the face In vitro and in vivo tests performed by Mibelle have suggested that the ingredient, PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica, boosts the production of human stem cells, protects human stem cells from stress and decreases wrinkles. In vitro the extract was applied to human stem cells from umbilical cords and was found to increase the number of the stem cells in culture. Furthermore, the addition of the ingredient to umbilical cord stem cells appeared to protect the cells from environmental stress such as UV light. Another interesting finding was the ability of the ingredient to delay the ageing of hair follicles, suggesting a possible use in anti-ageing hair preparations. Despite this finding the company stated that the main focus of the active is skin care for the face. Stem cells and skin ageing PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica is based on the callus cells (cells that are formed when a plant is wounded) of a rare Swiss apple tree species. If a plant is wounded the surrounding cells dedifferentiate (they turn back into stem cells) and form a wound healing tissue, the callus. Once the wound has healed these callus cells can then differentiate again and build new tissue - they are totipotent. Using these totipotent plant cells to protect the human skin stem cells is the idea behind the new ingredient, according to Mibelle. The internal fluid of these plant cells contains components that help to protect and maintain the function of the human stem cells, stated the company. Furthermore, the cells of the species chosen by the company, Uttwiler Spätlauber, are thought to contain metabolites to ensure longevity as the tree is known for the fact that its fruit keep well over long periods of time. Only three trees left The storability of the fruit was the quality that led the company to question whether the plant could be harnessed for use as an anti-ageing active. However, the tree is now very rare, so the company was unable to make an extract in the traditional fashion, Beata Hurst from Mibelle told CosmeticsDesign.com. Instead, the company has developed a plant cell culture technology, PhytoCellTec, which allows it to culture the apple stem cells in the laboratory. The technology allows the company to breed cells in the laboratory from plants that are rare, protected, seasonal or otherwise unavailable. According to Mibelle plant cell culture technology can theoretically be used to propagate any plants in the form of cells, opening many possibilities for the future.