MIT scientists, Massachusetts General Hospital, living proof and Olivo labs have developed an 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 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’s hydration.
According to researcher’s, this type of 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 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 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 cross-linked polymer layer (XPL). After that, researcher tested this material to check whether, it’s performing well for 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.”
In laboratory testing, this material regains its original shape after being stretched above 250 percent. It found that this new XPL’s elasticity property is much excelling than two other wound dressing types (silicone gel and polyurethane films) currently used on 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 have tried to create this material. But those material don’t get the properties like flexibility, comforts, nonirritating and the ability to confirm the movement of the skin and regain to its original shape.
Currently, XPL is using two steps process for delivering. First is, Polysiloxane devices are applied over skin 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 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 in humans for testing material safety and effectiveness. When the material was applied, it applies a stable, compact force, which tightens the skin i.e., an effect that lasted more than 24 hours.
- It has the ability to prevent water loss from the dry skin.
- It has great potential for both cosmetic and non-cosmetic applications.
- No side effects.
- High performance.