New research on the prevention of scars has anti-aging potential

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

image via Penn Medicine
image via Penn Medicine
An international team of scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California–Irvine, New York University, and more, have just published their findings on the potential of myofibroblasts to help heal skin without scaring.

The article, entitled ‘Regeneration of fat cells from myofibroblasts during wound healing’ was published this month in the journal Science, a publication of the non-profit American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Early media response has been optimistic, with the Philly Voice running a headline calling the findings an “unlikely source to prevent scaring” and another in the Christian Post referring to the findings as a “cure to wrinkles and scars.”

Cellular manipulation

By changing the myofibroblasts that normally develop into scar tissue, the scientists began a chain of events that led to the regeneration of fat cells and eventually to ‘normal,’ unwounded skin.

“Essentially, we can manipulate wound healing so that it leads to skin regeneration rather than scarring,”​ explains George Cotsarelis, principal investigator of the study, in a media release from Penn Medicine. Cotsarelis is a medical doctor as well as chair of the Department of Dermatology and the Milton Bixler Hartzell Professor of Dermatology at Penn.

“The secret,”​ he adds “is to regenerate hair follicles first. After that, the fat will regenerate in response to the signals from those follicles.”

New learning

The team discovered Bone Morphogenetic Protein, a factor that the hair sends to myofibroblasts, telling them to turn into fat cells.  

The team found this factor signaling functioning for both mice and human keloid cells. “Typically, myofibroblasts were thought to be incapable of becoming a different type of cell,” ​Cotsarelis tells the press. “But our work shows we have the ability to influence these cells, and that they can be efficiently and stably converted into adipocytes.”

Anti-aging too

The headline touting a cure for wrinkles isn’t all hype. The researchers see potential for their findings in a number of applications where adipocyte loss plays a role. Those include wound treatment, HIV treatment, and deep wrinkles resulting from age.

“Our findings can potentially move us toward a new strategy to regenerate adipocytes in wrinkled skin, which could lead us to brand new anti-aging treatments,”​ acknowledges Cotsarelis.

Related news

Related products

show more

Powders to packaging: cosmetic quality control

Powders to packaging: cosmetic quality control

Stable Micro Systems | 20-Nov-2017 | Technical / White Paper

Physical analysis is vital at every step of development for cosmetic products, from perfecting the consistency of creams, to ensuring gels glide on – and...

The best multi-tasking cosmetic ingredient

The best multi-tasking cosmetic ingredient

Sabinsa: Innovating the Science of Cosmetics® | 20-Nov-2017 | Product Brochure

The antioxidant benefits of the fruit extract of Emblica officinalis Gaertn. (Euphorbiaceae), commonly known in India as amla (Indian gooseberry), are...

SymDiol® 68 a smart synergistic protectant

SymDiol® 68 a smart synergistic protectant

Symrise | 08-Nov-2017 | Product Brochure

Today, cosmetic formulators face an increasingly challenging task to protect formulations and at the same time answering consumers’ desires for less preservatives...

Related suppliers