A group of South Korean scientists have developed a rejuvenating technology that turns parts of old skin cells into younger ones. The breakthrough is expected to help pave the way for producing medical treatments and cosmetics designed to delay aging and prevent geriatric diseases.
On Thursday, bio-cerebral engineering professor Cho Kwang-hyun at KAIST and the researchers from Amorepacific, a South Korean cosmetics giant, announced that they’ve developed a computer-simulated reverse-aging technology that turns back the clock of parts of old human skin cells.
Aging is a natural phenomenon where the physiological functions of a human being for survival and reproduction deteriorate over time. It is a manifestation of the accumulation of “cellular aging,” which causes the cells to stop reproducing owing to cumulated DNA damage or the activation of carcinogenic genes. In the process, one becomes more susceptible to geriatric diseases, which in turn weakens their physical abilities and increases mortality rate.
The group of researchers conducted an experiment designed to suppress the PDK1 gene on a three-dimensional artificial skin made from dermal fibroblasts. The findings pointed to an increased amount of collagen synthesis and a recovery of generative capacity of skins, exhibiting the traits of a young skin cell.
“Until now, we’ve believed that aging is unavoidable, but through the research findings, we’ve witnessed the possibility that aging too can be reserved,” said Professor Cho. “The revelation will help extend healthy life expectancy and develop treatments for geriatric diseases.”