The treatment was previously thought of to be impossible for human cells
A team of US scientists have discovered a way to use fat to help wounds heal without scars, potentially a revolutionary find within the dermatology industry.
Maksim Plikus and a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Health System have identified a method to transform the most common type of cells found in healing wounds (myofibroblasts) into fat cells (adipocytes) to prevent scarring.
Scar tissue also does not have any hair follicles associated with it, which is another reason for its abnormal appearance compared to the rest of the skin.
However, the study found that regenerated fat cells will not form without regenerated hair follicles.
The researchers overcame this characteristic by regenerating the hair follicles first, then the fat cells responded to the follicle signal and started to form, resulting in the new cells as indistinguishable from the pre-existing cells.
Although the researchers initially foresee their work helping sufferers of skin cancer, and other serious afflictions, the ability to increase fat cells could also help combat the ageing process.
“The fat cells are lost naturally through the ageing process, which causes the sagging appearance, as well as deep wrinkles,” Costarelis, Chair of Dermatology at the University, told Cosmetics Business.
“Our findings can potentially move us toward a new strategy to ...
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