A new alternative treatment for degenerative skin disease is being touted as a possible alternative to Botox. An innovative non-invasive pulse technology has been developed by researchers at Tel Aviv University and the Harvard Medical School, designed to smooth fine lines and wrinkles. Microsecond-pulsed, high-voltage, non-thermal electric fields generate new skin tissue growth, without leaving a scar behind.
Groundbreaking Technology Offers Many Advantages
Results of the research has been published in the Scientific Reports journal. Lead scientists, Dr. Alexander Golberg of Harvard Medical School and Dr. William Austen of Massachusetts General Hospital cite the outcome of the new development as promising. He noted that pulsed electrical field technology has already proven effective in many fields, such as tumor removal, food preservation and wound disinfection.
Dr. Golberg said the new application may spur the release of new collagen and capillaries in challenging areas of the skin. He noted this could become a “healthcare gamechanger,” as one in three adults over the age of 60 has a degenerative skin disease. Currently, skin rejuvenation therapies involve the use of various physical and chemical methods, but they result in unsightly scarring.
Conversely, pulsed electric fields affect only the cell membrane, keeping the extracellular matrix architecture intact and releasing a number of growth factors to stimulate new cell and tissue growth. Introducing nanoscale defects on the cell membranes allows the electric fields to kill a small amount of cells in the impacted areas. As a result, the released growth factors stimulate the metabolism of the remaining cells, effectively generating new tissue.
Low-Cost Device in Development for Clinical Trials
“We have identified in rats the specific pulsed electric field parameters that lead to prominent proliferation of the epidermis, formation of microvasculature, and secretion of new collagen at treated areas without scarring,” said Dr. Golberg. “Our results suggest that pulsed electric fields can improve skin function and potentially serve as a novel non-invasive skin therapy for multiple degenerative skin diseases.”
The research team is currently in the process of creating a cost-effective device for clinical trials, to test the safety and efficacy of the procedure.
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