Defense or repair: How immune cells are controlled during wound healing

A Cologne-based research team has discovered that the metabolism of mitochondria, the energy suppliers of cells, in macrophages coordinate wound healing to a significant degree. Macrophages belong to the white blood cells and are also known as scavenger cells. Professor Dr. Sabine Eming and her collaborators and colleagues at the CECAD Cluster of Excellence for Aging Research at the University of Cologne showed that wound macrophages undergo different metabolic programs during tissue repair, which are required to support the successive phases for skin reconstruction after injury.

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Best Scientific Contribution of 2021


The Scientific Committee rewarded Prof. Paul Matts, from Procter & Gambler (USA), the Best Scientific Contribution of Skin Ageing & Challenges 2021. 

Prof. Matts gave an excellent presentation about Ethnic Skin Ageing. The scientific committee congratulates him for his outstanding scientific achievement. 

Skin Ageing & Challenges 2021
November 10-12, 2021 – Interactive Online Congress

Who attended Skin Ageing & Challenges 2021

Academic Teaching Hospital
Aix-Marseille University
Baylor College of Medicine
Beiersdorf AG
Beijing Institute of Genomics
Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
CNRS, University of Orléans
Cochin Hospital – INSERM
Erasmus Medical Centre
EUDORA Pharmaceuticals and Manufacturing Limited
Evonik Operations GmbH
H&A PharmaChem
hôpital Saint Louis
I Beauty Tech, Inc.,
Innsbruck University
Institute of Molecular Biotechnology
Institut-Kurz GmbH
International Flavors and Fragrances
International Prevention Research Institute
i-On®️ Skincare
Kanazawa University
Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine
Leopold-Franzens Universität Innsbruck
Lvmh Fragrances & Cosmetics (Singapore) Pte Ltd
Maria Curie Skłodowska University
Mary Kay inc
Mayo Clinic Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging
Medical University of Graz

Medical University of Warsaw
MedSkin Solutions Dr. Suwelack AG
Meiwa Hospital
Microbiology and Virology
Palacký Univeristy
Procter & Gamble
REQUIMTE – Rede de Química e Tecnologia
Riga Stradins University
Saarland University Hospital
Seoul National University of Science and Technology
Skin Research Institute of Singapore
Sungshin Women’s University
Temasek Polytechnic
the New York University
Tongji University
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid ESQ2818013A
University Malaya Halal Research Centre
University of Auckland
University of Bath
University of Brasilia
University of British Columbia
University of Florence
University of Michigan College of Pharmacy
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
University of Sassari
University of Wisconsin Madison
UPR CNRS 4301-Orleans
Urmia university


OneSkin Won the Innovation Award 2021

During the congress, Juliana Lott presented her studies, on behalf of OneSkin (Brazil), entitled “Reduction of the Skin Biological Age and Improvement in Skin Health Markers by a Senotherapeutic Peptide”. After seeing the results of this research, the scientific committee awarded OneSkin for their Innovation.

The work presented at Skin Ageing & Challenges Congress 2021 describes the path to screen and optimize the first senotherapeutic peptide shown to decrease the biological age of human skin samples. The work is a result of the effort of many collaborators from OneSkin, Inc. and the Catholic University of Brazilia, which should all be recognized in the award. 

Skin Ageing & Challenges 2021
November 10-12, 2021 – Interactive Online Congress

Evonik – Winner of the Innovation Award 2021

Evonik, represented by Jennifer Schild during the 12nd Conference on Skin Ageing & Challenges 2021, was discerned one of the Innovation Awards 2021. Ms. Schild presented “Daylight Defense with Innovative Bioactive Sphingolipid” on behalf of Evonik Operations GmbH, Germany.

Evonik is a sustainable specialties partner to companies who develop and market products for beauty and personal care. Customers leverage our broad portfolio of ingredients, technologies and services to generate superior sustainability and functionality outcomes that can enable and enhance their formulations.

Inspired by the diversity of ceramide structures, Evonik developed the bioactive sphingolipid Hydroxybutyroyl Phytospingosine which could be shown to protect human skin from UV-induced DNA damage leading to an accelerated skin regeneration and re-balanced skin tone after summer stress.

Skin Ageing & Challenges 2021
November 10-12, 2021 – Interactive Online Congress

MitoTag Won the Innovation Award – 2021

MitoTag was discerned one of the Innovation Awards of Skin Ageing & Challenges 2021.

MitoTag is a Portuguese startup that develops targeting systems to deliver antioxidants and other bioactive molecules to mitochondria, our cellular energy sources, to protect them from multiple aggressors, including oxidative stress, in order to delay or reverse skin ageing.

In this particular study, demonstrated by Dr. José Feliciano Silveira Duarte, novel mitochondriotropic antioxidants derived from hydroxycinnamic and hydroxybenzoic acids were developed, their cytotoxicity and protection against oxidative stress-induced cytotoxicity on Normal Human Dermal Fibroblasts (NHDF) was assessed as well as the cytotoxic profile and effects on selected transcripts on the EpiDermFT 3D human skin model.

Skin Ageing & Challenges 2021
November 10-12, 2021 – Interactive Online Congress

Short Oral & Poster Presentations Awards 2021

Winners of the Short Oral Presentation Awards – Skin Ageing & Challenges 2021


Keratin-Biphalin Scaffold Accelerate Skin Wound Healing in Diabetic Mice
Marek KonopMedical University of Warsaw, Poland

About the research: Impaired wound healing a special in diabetes is a major medical problem and new therapeutic options are needed.  Keratin-based materials have recently become an exciting solution due to their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and ability to support cell growth. We showed that keratin-biphalin scaffolds accelerate full-thickness skin wound healing in diabetic mice.

Cream for Skin Barrier Restoration
Eva Moreino, Riga Stradins University, Latvia

About the study: My colleagues at Riga Stradins University have since long ago been interested in preventative medicine, skin aging, and metabolic syndrome. We combined it into a study to find a solution against accelerated skin aging in metabolic syndrome patients and created a cream that would help restore the skin barrier function, which is often compromised in people with metabolic syndrome. We started with simpler ingredients and developed the formula into a combination of powerful natural components that help restore the epidermal barrier. Currently, our product is being tested on patients in a clinical setting, and so far we are getting very good reviews. 


Winners of the Poster Presentation Awards – Skin Ageing & Challenges 2021


Development of Portable Raman Spectroscopy as a Clinic Tool for Assessing Photodamage in Skin
Ira Mautner, University of Auckland, New Zealand

About the project: The objective of this project is to develop the use of Raman spectroscopy which is a non-invasive, non-destructive and painless technique in vivo to identify biochemical changes that are indicative of chronological aging and to compare them to those of actinic aging. This will be further developed into a set of tools that health care providers can use in their practices to be able to give patients ‘on-the-spot’ information about their current level of actinic damage in comparison to their chronological age, even before that damage has manifested itself clinically. The development of this tool will allow providers to help patients manage and potentially slow down the actinic aging of their skin because it will provide a powerful, patient personalised health message. It will reinforce the need for adequate sun protection habits thereby minimising the risk of skin cancers and associated actinic damage in later life.


Lipophilic Yeasts as Etiological Factors of Pityriasis Versicolor and Components of Typical Skin Mycobiome – Case Study
Mariusz Dylalg, University of Wroclaw, Poland

About this research: Lipophilic yeasts of the Malassezia genus are the main contributors of the human skin microbiome. These opportunistic pathogenic fungi can be simultaneously present on healthy areas of skin as well within skin lesions typical for pityriasis versicolor. Our study showed that Malassezia sympodialis and Malassezia furfur were isolated from the patient’s hyper- and hypopigmented skin lesions, respectively. At the same time Malassezia restricta was isolated only from healthy skin regions. In the studied clinical case localized topical treatment based on ciclopirox and terbinafine was sufficient and successful, and has allowed maintaining the physiological mycobiome. Our study also showed that the borderline between pathological outgrowth of Malassezia and commensal proliferation is blurred.

Skin Ageing & Challenges 2021
November 10-12, 2021 – Interactive Online Congress

Nomination for Skin Ageing & Challenges 2021 Innovations Awards

During Skin Ageing & Challenges 2021, more than 40 communications were presented. 

The scientific committee nominated 8 Industries for the Innovation Awards of 2021. The nominated were: 

  • Givaudan Active Beauty, represented by Marie Meunier
  • L’Oréal, represented by Laurent Marrot
  • Evonik, represented by Jennifer Schild
  • Procter & Gambler, represented by Paul Matts
  • MitoTag, represented by José Feliciano Duarte 
  • One Skin Technologies, represented by Juliana Lott
  • MedSkin Solution, represented by Ali Shahmoradi
  • i-On Skincare, represented by Xi Huang


Research Uncovers New Mechanism that Promotes Wound Healing in Skin

A University of California, Irvine-led study identifies a new molecular pathway that promotes the healing of wounds in the skin. Titled, “GRHL3 activates FSCN1 to relax cell-cell adhesions between migrating keratinocytes during wound re-epithelialization,” the study was published in JCI Insight.

The molecular pathway identified is controlled by an evolutionary conserved gene called a Grainyhead like 3 (GRHL3), which is a gene required for mammalian development. Without this gene, several abnormalities may occur, including spina bifida, defective epidermal barrier, defective eyelid closure and soft-tissue syndactyly, a condition in which children are born with fused or webbed fingers.

The study reveals how during wound healing, GRHL3 works to activate a protein coding gene called Fascin Actin-Bundling Protein 1 (Fscn1), to loosen the adhesion between wounded skin cells so they can migrate efficiently to close the wound. Researchers also found that alterations in this process may result in chronic, non-healing wounds, such as diabetic ulcers that affect millions of patients every year.

“What’s exciting about our findings is that we have identified a molecular pathway that is activated in normal acute wounds in humans, and altered in diabetic wounds in mice,” said Ghaidaa Kashgari, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the UCI School of Medicine Department of Medicine. “This finding strongly indicates clinical relevance and may improve our understanding of wound healing biology and could lead to new therapies.”

Acute skin wound healing progresses through four overlapping phases: hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation, and tissue remodeling. Although wounds close partially by dermal contraction, re-epithelialization occurring during the proliferation phase, is a key step in wound healing.

During re-epithelialization, keratinocytes, which are cells that make up the outermost layers of the skin, migrate on top of the underlying granulation tissue, which is the lumpy, pink tissue that forms around the edges of a wound. Ultimately, the keratinocytes meet migrating keratinocytes from the opposing margin to close the wound.

“Despite significant advances in treatment, much remains to be understood about the molecular mechanisms involved in normal wound healing,” said senior author Bogi Andersen, MD, a professor in the Departments of Biological Chemistry and Medicine at the UCI School of Medicine. Department of Biological Chemistry and Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology. “Our findings uncover how abnormalities in the GRHL3/FSCN1/E-cadherin pathway could play a role in non-healing wounds which needs to be further investigated.”

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Irving Weinstein Foundation.



Not all Acne is Equal: Scientists Reveal Strains of C. acnes that Promote Skin Health

A study led by Osaka City University and Okayama University researchers on Caenorhabditis elegans shows that certain strains of the bacteria Cutibacterium acnes actually prolong the nematode’s lifespan and help its innate immune system fight against the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus.



Cutibacterium acnes, a bacteria that is known to cause acne, is also widely spread on people with healthy skin. Recent advances in gene sequencing have shown that differences in the genetic background between strains of bacteria may lead to differing roles in the skin. A new study, done without animal (mammal) testing, shows that the nonpathogenic strain of C. acnes improves the skin’s resistance against the infection-causing bacteria Staphylococcus aureus.

“It is likely that C. acnes maintains skin health by inhibiting common pathogens like S. aureus from invading skin tissue,” said lead author Ayano Tsuru, a graduate student at the Graduate School of Human Life Science, Osaka City University. “Instead of using mammals, we explored this with Caenorhabditis elegans, a 1mm nematode that has basic animal parts like a nervous system, muscles, and digestive tract, as well as a body surface barrier equivalent to human skin.”

In this joint study between the Osaka City University and Okayama University, researchers used C. elegans to investigate the biological effects of several strains of C. acnes isolated from human skin.

Results showed that ribotype (RT) 4 and 8 strains, a classification of bacteria strains based on polymorphisms in rRNA, which are often detected in the skin of individuals suffering from acne, shortened the lifespan of the nematode, while RT6 strains that are often found in the skin of people without acne, did not.

“This means that,” explains supporting author Yumi Hamazaki also a graduate student at the OCU Graduate School of Human Life Science, “ribotype strains of C. acnes that cause acne in humans correlated with virulence, or a shortening the C. elegans lifespan.

The team further clarified this finding by investigating the effect of healthy skinassociated strains of C. acnes on the nematode’s susceptibility to S. aureus. Results showed the survival period of nematodes infected with the pathogen to be longer than the control group.

Also, RNA sequencing analysis of changes in the gene expression revealed that strains of C. acnes behind healthy skin activated a group of genes related to innate immunity and biological defense responses in C. elegans. “Further analysis of nematode gene mutants” states Professor Shuta Tomida of the Center for Comprehensive Genomic Medicine at Okayama University Hospital, “suggests this resistance to S. aureus was mediated by TIR-1 and p38 MAPK pathways that are responsible for innate immunity and not by suppressing the growth of the S. aureus pathogen.

The implications of this study are wide and exciting.

By focusing on ribotypes related to the absence of acne, this study revealed there are beneficial aspects of acne bacteria, which have had a generally negative image.

As advisor to the study, Eriko Kage-Nakadai, professor at the OCU Graduate School of Human Life Science puts it, “this reminds us that when evaluating the biological effects of certain bacteria, there is a need for a discussion at the strain level. Also,” the professor continues, “the fact that we succeeded in detecting the effects of skin indigenous bacteria using C. elegans illustrates the usefulness of this nematode as an alternative model in the field of epidemiology.”

Lastly, in the landscape of probiotic research currently dominated by bifidobacteria and lactobacillus, the team is excited at the expectation that this study may lead to the application of healthy skin-related strains of C. acnes as a “non-drinking probiotic.”


Journal Reference:
Ayano Tsuru, Yumi Hamazaki, Shuta Tomida, Mohammad Shaokat Ali, Tomomi Komura, Yoshikazu Nishikawa, Eriko Kage Nakadai. Nonpathogenic Cutibacterium acnes Confers Host Resistance against Staphylococcus aureus. Microbiology Spectrum, 2021; DOI: 10.1128/Spectrum.00562-21