Use of Biomaterials in Skin Applications

Skin degeneration and injury due to diseases, trauma, and surgery are common. In dermatology research, the physiological processes involved  in ageing relate closely to the inability of skin cells to regenerate and repair, the same functions of wound healing in response to tissue injury.

Timely functional repair and tissue regeneration can be supported with topical medications, cosmeceuticals and novel materials engineered to create the optimal skin micro environment for healing. Biomaterials have long been used in wound dressings for healing, for surgical scars and increasingly in transdermal delivery, which improves drug or cosmeceutical absorption with novel materials. It can be considered the foundation of regenerative medicine, to create an optimal environment to stimulate collagen production by fibroblasts.

What is a biomaterial?

A biomaterial is a substance that has been engineered to take a form which is used to direct the course of any therapeutic or diagnostic procedure.

What are biomaterials used for in skin?

Biomaterials have been used mainly for skin tissue engineering for patients with burn injuries, chronic ulcers and those who require constructive sumrgery. Regenerative skin tissue engineering facilitates faster wound healing and thereby the restoration of skin. In hospital settings, it has been used to help patients who face extensive skin loss, whereby skin tissue engineering helps to protect skin from bacterial infection and form a network for new skin cells to grow. 

Dr.TWL Biomaterials specialises in research and development of such materials which support the absorption of anti-ageing cosmeceuticals, smart fabrics and materials with unique properties engineered into smart makeup tools and devices. 

Why is the research of biomaterials in skin regeneration important?

The direction of skincare and anti-ageing is increasingly headed towards non-invasive interventions. Cosmeceuticals have become a part of dermatologists’ practices but is limited by the challenges in skincare absorption, which varies between individuals and can be optimised with advances in biomaterials engineering.

Dr. TWL Biomaterials focuses on new biomaterial fabrication processes, design, and synthesis which all support skin regeneration and healing.

How are biomaterials used in skin tissue regeneration?

The regeneration of skin tissue normally involves a type of cells combined with a biomaterial. Biomaterials play an important role for attachment, survival, and function of cells. 

Biomaterials are vital in  protecting the cells from dehydration while serving as a temporary substrate for stem cells to differentiate and synthesize tissue‐specific matrix. The morphology, topography, composition, stiffness of biomaterials may play a key role in controlling the differentiation of cells and hence, the regeneration of skin tissue. 

What are some examples of biomaterials used in skin tissue engineering?

The majority of biomaterials in clinical use are based on natural or extracted collagen. Other examples include permacol, dermagraft and transcyte. 

Dr. TWL Biomaterials actively applies cutting edge medical technologies in the creation of anti-ageing textiles/devices to make these accessible to the public.