LEDs could help to reduce skin wrinkles (left: before, right: after). Photo: American Chemical Society
Read out Intensive light from LEDs has a similar effect on the skin as Botox: it smoothes wrinkles and makes the skin look younger overall. This is what a researcher from Ulm reports after a self-experiment in which the scientists put a previously established theory into practice. In her opinion, the light destroys a fine but stable film of water that surrounds the elastic fibers of the skin and makes them immobile. If it is lacking, the fiber regains its elasticity, and the skin virtually smoothes itself out. Since the same fibers also occur in blood vessels and heart muscle, the process could eventually even help treat cardiovascular disease, write Andrei Sommer and Dan Zhu. Decisive for the elasticity of the skin is a protein called elastin. In combination with the skin cells, it is surrounded by water, which has very special properties at the interface between the actually water-repellent protein and the environment: The water molecules arrange themselves in a regular structure and thus form a tight envelope of the elastin fibers, so to speak the protein imposes her form. But does the elastin begin to age, and how do fatty acids, amino acids, and calcium salts build up between the water's shell and the fiber, causing the elastin to swell and become rigid? still held by the water film. According to the researchers, this rigidity and immobility cause wrinkling according to the current state of knowledge.

To follow up the theory, "one of them" irradiated his crow's feet around the eyes every day for nine weeks with intense light from the red area of ​​the spectrum. Thereafter, a significant reduction in wrinkle depth and a shortening of the individual lines had been observed, the scientists report. Their explanation: The energy of the light changed the order in the water envelope, so that the water molecules were stripped off the fiber? with the consequence that the elastin became more mobile and could even out the pits. Finally, after eleven months of regular radiation, the skin color and condition of the skin had rejuvenated as a whole.

In addition to its function in the skin, elastin also gives cardiac muscle and blood vessels their elasticity. Since there is much more water in these types of tissue than in the skin, such a light treatment could be even more efficient there and help to rejuvenate the organs, the scientists speculate. Interesting in this context is the fact that light in the wavelength now used has long been used for an acceleration of wound healing.

Andrei Sommer and Dan Zhu (University of Ulm): Crystal Growth & Design, online pre-release, DOI: 10.1021 / cg8000703 ddp / science.de? Ilka Lehnen-Beyel advertisement

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