Artificial skin that could temporarily tighten the skin


MIT scientists, Massachusetts General Hospital, living proof, and Olivo Labs have developed artificial skin. This artificial skin can transiently protect and tighten the skin and remove wrinkles. It could also be used to transfer drugs to diagnose skin-related diseases like eczema and dermatitis.

This artificial skin is a silicon-based polymer. It could be applied to the skin as thin and fine coating as a gel or cream. It acts with the mechanical and elastic properties of healthy skin. After testing on humans, scientists found that it also can reshape “eye bags” inside lower eyelids. It also can improve skin hydration.

According to researchers, this artificial skin is the perfect material to provide enduring ultraviolet protection.

Danier Anderson (associate professor in MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering and a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES)) said that “this is like an invisible layer that can provide a barrier, prevent from cosmetic side effects and transfer a drug towards the area that’s being treated.”

Scientists have decided to develop this artificial skin so that it could make new properties of healthy skin. This artificial skin can be used for both medical and cosmetic applications. Generally, skin becomes loose due to aging. Skin becomes less flexible and less elastic and thus causes more problems due to sun exposure. This causes harm to the skin’s capability to guard against harm, high temperature, infections, germs, radiations, and injuries.

Scientists created a set of above 100 polymers that consist of siloxane. Siloxane is a chain of atoms of silicon and oxygen. These polymers are arranged in such a way, like in a network arrangement. The arrangement is also known as a cross-linked polymer layer (XPL). After that, the researcher tested this material to check whether it’s performing well for the appearance, strength, and elasticity of the healthy skin.

Langer says, “It has to have right optical properties otherwise, it won’t look good, and it has to have the right mechanical properties, otherwise it won’t have the right strength and it won’t perform correctly.”

This material regains its original shape after being stretched above 250 percent in laboratory testing. It found that this new XPL’s elasticity property is much more excellent than two other wound dressing types (silicone gel and polyurethane films) currently used on the skin.

It was tuff for scientists to create this material. Because creating such materials that act as skin is a very tuff task. Before this, many scientists tried to develop this material. But those materials don’t get the properties like flexibility, comforts, nonirritating, and the ability to confirm the skin’s movement and regain its original shape.

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Currently, XPL is using two steps process for delivery. First, Polysiloxane devices are applied over the skin and come from the platinum catalyst. It encourages the polymer to make a strong cross-linked film that remains on the skin for above 24 hours. This catalyst applies after the polymer. Because, after this step, the material becomes too stiff to spread, both layers are applied as creams. Once it spreads over the skin, XPL becomes visible.

Scientists have done various studies on humans to test material safety and effectiveness. When the material was applied, it applied a stable, compact force, which tightened the skin, i.e., an effect that lasted more than 24 hours.

  • It can prevent water loss from dry skin.
  • It has excellent potential for both cosmetic and non-cosmetic applications.
  • No side effects.
  • High performance.
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