Under pressure: Shiseido study reveals pressure can stimulate ‘stem cell reservoirs’ to regenerate skin

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Shiseido has found that applying pressure on the skin can activate the stem cells
Shiseido has found that applying pressure on the skin can activate the stem cells

Related tags: Shiseido, anti-ageing

New research by Shiseido has found that applying pressure on the skin can activate the stem cells stored in ‘reservoirs’ in the skin and could improve the appearance of ageing on the skin.

According to the research arm of Shiseido, stem cells are the origin of dermal fibroblasts which influence skin elasticity.

In an IFSCC award-winning 2018 study by the company, it found that these stem cells tend to gather around sebaceous glands in the skin.

Based on this breakthrough, the research team has been targeting the reservoirs as a key factor for skin regeneration.

The team investigated the effect of mechanical stimulation such as applying pressure, tapping and stretching skin could have on the stem cell reservoirs.

“It is known that beauty treatments are effective for the skin; however, mechanism details such as what specific element acts on which part of the skin had not been clarified. Revealing this mechanism will lead to the development of particularly effective beauty treatments,” ​said the researchers.

In an experiment, the team applied various stimuli imitating beauty treatments element to cultured skin.

In comparison to the cultured skin model with no pressure applied, the number of stem cell was significantly increased, confirming pressure could stimulate the skin to generate stem cells in the reservoirs.

This study was a collaborative project with Kyoichi Matsuzaki, chief of external plastic surgery at the International University of Health and Welfare, along with Jichi Medical University and the National Institute for Physiological Sciences.

Mechanical reaction

Next, the team investigated whether the cells proliferated by pressure could actually function in the dermal layer.

In a previous study by Shiseido, researchers found that that it was important for the dermal cells to be connected to each other and form a network in order to functional properly.

To find out if this was happening in the cultured skin, it utilised its newly developed AI-based skin analysis technology, Digital-3D Skin, which was also developed with the collaborators on this study.

Using this technology, the team was able to see the newly proliferated cells connecting and forming a network in the pressurised skin culture, leading to a functional state.

The researcher further studied the pressurised cultured skin and saw a significant amount of collagen being produced.

Collagen in the skin significantly decreases with age, resulting in the deterioration of skin elasticity.

By confirming the presence of newly produced collagen, the researchers further established that putting pressure on the skin can help regenerate the dermis.

Shiseido concluded that this research has validated its belief on the “regenerative power of beauty treatments”​ and said it will continue to develop products and treatments to improve the appearance of ageing.

“Results have revealed great potential for beauty treatments to lead to skin rejuvenation. By utilising this knowledge, first with beauty treatments and beauty devices, we will promote the development of various services.”

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