Could a new pulse technology be the long-awaited Botox alternative?

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Could a new pulse technology be the long-awaited Botox alternative?

Related tags Cell membrane Protein

A newly developed non-invasive pulse technology is being heralded as the next step in the search for effective solutions to treat degenerative skin disease.

The technology has been developed with the aim of smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, using pulsed electric fields to generate new skin tissue growth, by a team of scientists at the Tel Aviv University and the Harvard Medical School.

The team says that the technology is a novel non-invasive tissue stimulation technique, utilizing microsecond-pulsed, high-voltage, non-thermal electric fields that produces scarless skin rejuvenation.

Could this technology be revolutionary?

The team has published the results of their research into the technology in the Scientific Reports journal, and according to lead scientists that include Dr. Alexander Golberg of Harvard Medical School and Dr. William Austen from the department of plastic surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, the results are promising.

"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 jumpstart 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 an healthcare gamechanger."

Alternatives that target tissue and collagen renewal

Beyond Botox treatment there are a number of cosmetic ingredients that target collagen renewal, including solutions based on peptides, amino acids, retinol, hyaluronic acid, various anti-oxidants and even copper peptide.

However, in their research paper, the scientists point out that some of the more extreme chemical and physical processes that treat skin rejuvenation can lead to unsightly scarring, something the pulsed electrical technology avoids.

This is because the treatment targets only the cell membrane itself, preserving the extracellular matrix architecture and releasing multiple growth factors to spark new cell and tissue growth, the team says.

How the technology stimulates cell rejuvenation

It works by inducing nanoscale defects on the cell membranes, that lead to electric fields causing the death of a small number of cells in affected areas, leading to a release of growth factors that increase the metabolism of the remaining cells, in turn regenerating new cells.

Dr. Golberg went on to state that the results lead to increased skin function and could also serve as a novel non-invasive skin therapy for a wide range of degenerative skin diseases.

The researchers say they are now currently working on a low-cost device for use in clinical trials to establish the safety and efficacy on humans.

Related topics Formulation & Science

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