Navigation Links
No more lying about your age: Scientists can now gauge skin’s true age with new laser technique
Date:12/13/2012

Wrinkles, dryness, and a translucent and fragile appearance are hallmarks of old skin, caused by the natural aging of skin cells. But while most of us can recognize the signs of lost youth when we peer into the mirror each morning, scientists do not have a standardized way to measure the extent of age damage in skin. Now a group of Taiwanese researchers has used a specialized microscope to peer harmlessly beneath the skin surface to measure natural age-related changes in the sizes of skin cells. The results, which are published in the Optical Society's (OSA) open-access journal Biomedical Optics Express, can be used to study the general phenomenon of skin aging and may help provide an index for measuring the effectiveness of 'anti-aging' skin products.

In the study, Chi-Kuang Sun, a distinguished professor at National Taiwan University and chief director of the university's Molecular Imaging Center, along with medical researcher and dermatologist Yi-Hua Liao and colleagues, evaluated 52 subjects ranging in age from 19 to 79 years old. The researchers focused a brief burst of infrared laser light into the skin of the subjects' inner forearms, an area that is generally protected from sun damage, which accelerates natural aging. The beam penetrated to a depth of about 300 millionths of a meter, or approximately where the epidermis (the upper layer of skin) and the dermis (the lower layer) meet.

The researchers used a technique known as harmonic generation microscopy (HGM), which has previously been used to study developing embryos. In the procedure, a concentrated beam of photons is sent into a material. The photons naturally oscillate at a particular frequency, and as they interact with the material, they generate "harmonics" vibrations that are multiples of the original frequency, which are characteristic of the material structure and properties. For example, the second harmonic is twice the original frequency and the third harmonic is three times the original frequency. In an imaging system, harmonics can reveal different structures at very high resolution. In their study, the team scanned for reflected second and third harmonic photons, and from those measurements, produced a high-resolution 3-D map of the tissue that revealed structures within the skin cells.

Natural aging, the scanning showed, caused a significant increase in the overall size of cells known as basal keratinocytes the most common cells in the outermost layer of skin as well as in the sizes of their nuclei. However, other types of skin cells, known as granular cells, did not show a similar pattern. Thus, says Sun, the relative changes in the two types of cells can serve as an index for scoring natural or "intrinsic" skin aging the aging of skin caused by programmed developmental or genetic factors.

"No one has ever seen through a person's skin to determine his or her age from their skin," says Sun. "Our finding serves as a potential index for skin age."

A skin age index would provide a standardized, quantitative scale that could be used rate the true "age" of skin, from young (less age-related damage) to old (more age-related damage). The scale could give doctors another tool to monitor the overall health of skinby investigating whether the skin of certain individuals or populations ages faster or slower than average, tracking the aging of an individual's skin over time, or testing how effective anti-aging treatments are at slowing the rate of skin aging.

Intrinsic, or chronological, aging is different from extrinsic aging, which is caused primarily by sun exposure. "There are a lot of extrinsic factors that can accelerate the aging process, such as smoking, ultraviolet light, and stress," says Sun. The researchers found that the extent of extrinsic skin aging in their study subjects varied depending on occupation, personal habits, and skin type, but because the researchers looked at skin on the sun-protected inner forearm, their findings provide a measure of the primarily genetically-based intrinsic skin aging.

"This could provide an index for someone who cares about the health of their skin and might also provide a test-bed for measuring the effectiveness of 'anti-aging' skin products," Sun says. "Of course," he and Liao joke, "you could set an HGM scanner at the entrance to a bar, so you can know whether a person is over 21 years old and permitted for entry."


'/>"/>

Contact: Angela Stark
astark@osa.org
202-416-1443
Optical Society of America
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. With Bullying, Whats a Parent to Do?
2. Bullying has long-term health consequences
3. Adults See Some Teen Bullying as Less Serious: Survey
4. Researchers reveal underlying mechanism of powerful chemotherapy for prostate cancer treatment
5. Age, not underlying diagnosis, key factor in weight gain in children after tonsillectomy
6. Study details bullying involvement for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder
7. In-Person Bullying Still Bigger Problem Than Cyberbullying: Expert
8. Researchers unfold the mechanisms underlying blood disorders
9. Male Ontario students show declines in fighting; females show elevated bullying and mental distress
10. Workplace bullying witnesses consider quitting more than the victims: UBC study
11. Simplus Technologies Announces First Update on its Fear of Flying App for Turbulence Called Turbcast
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
No more lying about your age: Scientists can now gauge skin’s true age with new laser technique
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... by the American Association of Integrative Medicine and available for application on Saturday, ... the AutismOne 2017 Conference in Colorado Springs. , Ed Arranga, president of AutismOne, ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... The Lice Treatment Center® ... March 13-16, was a busy spot this year. Liz Solovay and Adrian Picheny, ... preventing outbreaks among camp communities during the upcoming 2017 camping season. “Lice infestations ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Oily skin is a common and unwelcomed occurrence in people ... has a lot to offer to the discussion of dealing with excess skin oil. “Oily ... are many home remedies that can help remove the oily shine while keeping the skin ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... ... adventure that reveals the mystery of Kevin’s purpose. “A Prophets Bones” is the creation of ... of him that he had neglected to do, but this was from God and there ... who would have felt themselves to be special and better than others due to the ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , ... March 27, 2017 , ... ... for clear braces. People who want straight teeth without the extensive time commitment ... in Clearwater, FL, without acquiring a referral. A custom-designed series of virtually invisible ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2017)... YORK , March 28, 2017 ... investors, attention to these four stocks: The Medicines ... Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: PCRX), and Supernus Pharmaceuticals ... operate in the Generic Drugs space which is ... drugs. The key growth drivers for the industry are ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... dedicated to innovative therapeutics addressing cancer and other ... at the American Association for Cancer Research annual ... April 3 is entitled "Evaluation of ENMD-2076 ... and the second poster to be presented ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017  Medeon Biodesign, Inc., ... company, is pleased to announce that the Company ... of Panther Orthopedics, Inc., a San ... fixation solutions for orthopedic extremity applications.  ... expand rapidly, primarily due to procedure volume growth, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: