Skin care ingredient uses protective power of grape stem cells

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Skin

Stem cells from a rare red grape variety provide the basis for Swiss company Mibelle’s latest skin care ingredient.

The Gamay Tenturier Fréaux variety originating from the Burgundy region of France is the inspiration behind the ingredient, which the company claims can help protect human skin stem cells from UV damage.

This variety is one of the few red grapes that have red flesh and juice - the majority have red skin but white flesh and juice - which is due to the high quantity of anthocyanins in the fruit.

Normally congregating in the skin of the grape, the anthocyanins in the Gamay Tenturier Fréaux variety are also present in the flesh, leading to higher antioxidant levels overall, and explaining the red colour.

According to Mibelle, these antioxidants, along with other metabolites present in the grape, make it a perfect candidate for the company’s PhytoCellTec technology.

The technology was developed last year and allows Mibelle to extract stem cells from the plant which can then be formulated into a cosmetic ingredient to help protect the stem cells in human skin.

To harvest the stem cells the company first induces a wound in the plant which causes the surrounding cells to dedifferentiate (turn back into stem cells) and form a wound healing tissue called a callus.

Once the wound has healed these cells can differentiate again and build new tissue; in other words they are totipotent. These callus cells are harvested by Mibelle and can be cultivated on a large scale using a bio reactor system.

Plant stem cells to protect human equivalents

According to Mibelle, these plant stem cells contain components and epigenetic factors that can protect human skin stem cells, in this case form UV radiation.

Stem cells are found in the epidermal layer of the skin and are involved in skin growth and regeneration. If they are harmed by UV radiation, their power to regenerate will be jeopardised, the company explained.

The company investigated the effect of the Solar Vitis ingredient on human epidermal stem cells in a cell culture medium looking at the capacity of the cells to form colonies. (The capacity to form a colony is a characteristic of stem cells and is often used as a measure of stem cell concentration.)

According to the company, the colony forming efficiency (CFE) of the epidermal stem cells was stimulated by almost 50 per cent in the presence of the Solar Vitis extract. In addition, the ingredient totally counteracted the negative effect of the UV on the stem cells, which according to Mibelle had amounted to as much as a 58 per cent decrease in CFE.

Solar Vitis is being launched at in-cosmetics Singapore, which opens its doors today. It is the second of Mibelle’s ingredients to be based on the PhtyoCellTec technology, following the use of a Swiss apple variety Uttwiler Spätlauber.

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