Scientists develop 'second skin' material to firm skin, smooth wrinkles

“It has to have the 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,” Robert Langer says. [Credits Photo: Olivo Labs]

BOSTON (WBFF) - A new material engineered by scientists at MIT tightens skin and smooths wrinkles but comes with a catch --- it only lasts for up to 24 hours.

The silicone-based polymer material was developed by scientists at MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, Living Proof, and Olivo Labs. According to researchers, the material is able to reshape bags under the eyes and hydrate skin and may have both medical and cosmetic applications.

"It's an invisible layer that can provide a barrier, provide cosmetic improvement, and potentially deliver a drug locally to the area that's being treated. Those three things together could really make it ideal for use in humans," said Daniel Anderson, an 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).

Scientists say the elastic material "easily" returns to its original state after being stretched more than 250%; by comparison natural skin can be elongated by approximately 180%.

The "second skin" is applied as two layers of ointments and, once spread onto the skin, becomes "essentially" invisible, researchers say.

"Creating a material that behaves like skin is very difficult," said Barbara Gilchrest, a dermatologist at MGH and an author of the paper. "Many people have tried to do this, and the materials that have been available up until this have not had the properties of being flexible, comfortable, nonirritating, and able to conform to the movement of the skin and return to its original shape."

A new startup called Olivo Laboratories, LLC, has been formed to further develop the technology, with an initial focus on its medical applications.

CLICK HERE for more information from MIT

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