‘Second skin’ can protect and tighten skin

By TNT Bureau

Oct 2, 2017: A team scientists claim to have discovered that feels and look exactly like human skin. This innovative technology can protect and tighten skin and also deliver drugs. The technology was launched by Olivo Laboratories, a new Cambridge-based life sciences establishment that will concentrate on treatments for skin problems like eczema.

For over 10 years , researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology,Massachusetts General Hospital and Living Proof have been looking for a defensive coating that can imitate young skin. Among their objectives was to find a material with the potential to bring medical applications such as retaining moisture and delivering drugs.

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Barbara Gilchrest, a dermatologist at MGH said that creating a material that behaves like skin is very difficult. Many people have tried to do this, and the materials that have been available up until this have not had the properties of being flexible, comfortable, nonirritating, and able to conform to the movement of the skin and return to its original shape.

Researchers created a library of more than 100 possible combinations of both silicon and oxygen to find such a material. The best solution was delivered as two creams on the skin, becoming a temporary and invisible layer of thin, malleable silicon.

Like young skin, the solution has strong elastic properties, returning to its original state after being stretched over 250%. By comparison, actual skin can be elongated 180 percent before returning to its normal state. This allows the technology to be worn comfortably while still maintaining its original structure.

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According to the technology’s developers, patients who tested the material did not report any irritation from wearing it. Scientists also see potential for this technology to be used as a new kind of sunscreen, protecting skin from long-lasting ultraviolet rays.

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