Sensory Neurons in Human Skin Play Key Role in Pigmentation


News Release, Skin Ageing & challenges – 26 September 2022.

Our skin forms the physical boundary between us and the outside world, yet it still holds a surprising number of secrets. Now, researchers from Japan have discovered that sensory nerve cells in our skin do more than just help us feel our way around.

In a study published this month in Cell Reports, a research group led by the Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, has revealed that sensory neurons in human skin play an important role in pigmentation.

Pigmentation in our skin is caused in part by a group of substances known as melanin, which are produced by skin cells called melanocytes. When melanocytes are damaged or reduced in number, this leads to either increased or limited melanin production, resulting in pigmentation disorders. Typically, these melanin changes are long term, localized, and uneven – such as skin color patches. The mechanisms that underpin the maintenance and development of these patches are mostly unknown.

“Increasingly, evidence has been pointing to the possibility that the interaction between neurons and melanocytes plays a number of key roles in human skin,” says lead author of the study, Siu Yu Chow. “This includes the regulation of melanocytes by sensory neurons.”

In their study, the researchers explored the relationship between sensory neurons and melanocytes, and found that there was a greater degree of contact between them in skin color patch tissue than control tissue. When cultured with neurons, melanocytes were also found to have higher pigmentation and an increased survival rate. Melanocytes cultured in growth media that had been conditioned with sensory neurons showed increased survival, as well as longer dendrites (branch-like extensions of the cell); these effects were specific to melanocytes.

“Additionally, we identified proteins secreted by sensory neurons, including Repulsive Guidance Molecule B (RGMB),” explains Yoshiho Ikeuchi, senior author. “We discovered that melanocyte survival and darkness is promoted by RGMB.”

The study revealed that sensory neurons play a role in modulating a number of features of human melanocytes via the secretion of RGMB, which is a key factor that stimulates melanocytes.

“Our results highlight how important sensory neurons are to skin pigmentation and physiology,” says Chow.

Pigmentation disorders, including skin color patches, are common and can result in psychosocial problems; they are also often linked with health issues such as neurocutaneous diseases (diseases that affect the nervous system and skin) and melanoma. However, the effectiveness of chemical and topical treatments for these are limited. The results of this study could lead to the development of new drugs for use with current therapies by enabling the discovery of previously unknown molecules and mechanisms that include RGMB.

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© Photo Copyright : Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo.

Skin Ageing & Challenges 2022
November 17-18, 2022 – Lisbon, Portugal

Skin Ageing

Skin Microbiome Profile of Healthy Cameroonians and Japanese


The commensal microbes of the skin have a significant impact on dermal physiology and pathophysiology. Racial and geographical differences in the skin microbiome are suggested and may play a role in the sensitivity to dermatological disorders, including infectious diseases.

Little is known about the skin microbiome profiles of people living in Central Africa, where severe tropical infectious diseases impose a burden on the inhabitants. This study provided the skin profiles of healthy Cameroonians in different body sites and compared them to healthy Japanese participants.

The skin microbiome of Cameroonians was distinguishable from that of Japanese in all skin sites examined in this study. For example, Micrococcus was predominantly found in skin samples of Cameroonians but mostly absent in Japanese skin samples. Instead, the relative abundance of Cutibacterium species was significantly higher in healthy Japanese.

Principal coordinate analysis of beta diversity showed that the skin microbiome of Cameroonians formed different clusters from Japanese, suggesting a substantial difference in the microbiome profiles between participants of both countries. In addition, the alpha diversity in skin microbes was higher in Cameroonians than Japanese participants.

These data may offer insights into the determinant factors responsible for the distinctness of the skin microbiome of people living in Central Africa and Asia.

Full Article.

© Photo Copyright: Ogai et al. 2022

Join Dr. Kazuhiro Ogai in Skin Ageing & Challenges 2022 this November to know more about this study.

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Skin Ageing & Challenges 2022
November 17-18, 2022 – Lisbon, Portugal

In-cytoplasm Mitochondrial Transplantation for Stem Cells Engineering & Tissue Regeneration

Representative images of the wound area (left) and the corresponding fractions of wounds healed (right) by different treatments.

News Release, Skin Aging & Challenges – August 31, 2022

Stem cell therapies are unsatisfactory due to poor cell survival and engraftment. Stem cells used for therapy must be properly “tuned” for a harsh in vivo environment.

Ouyang et al. reported that the transfer of exogenous mitochondria (mito) to adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) can effectively boost their energy levels, enabling efficient cell engraftment. The entire process of exogenous mitochondrial endocytosis was captured by high-content live-cell imaging.

Mitochondrial transfer lead to acutely enhanced bioenergetics, with nearly 17% of higher adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) levels in ADSCs treated with high mitochondrial dosage and further resulted in altered secretome profiles of ADSCs.  It also induced the expression of 334 mRNAs in ADSCs, which are mainly linked to signaling pathways associated with DNA replication and cell division.

They hypothesize that increase in ATP and cyclin-dependent kinase 1 and 2 expression might be responsible for promoting enhanced proliferation, migration, and differentiation of ADSCs in vitro. More importantly, mito-transferred ADSCs display prolonged cell survival, engraftment and horizontal transfer of exogenous mitochondria to surrounding cells in a full-thickness skin defect rat model with improved skin repair compared with nontreated ADSCs.

These results demonstrate that intracellular mitochondrial transplantation is a promising strategy to engineer stem cells for tissue regeneration.

Article DOI.

© Photo Copyright: Ouyang et al.

Join Dr. Ouyang in Skin Ageing & Challenges 2022 this November to know more about the in-cytoplasm mitochondrial transplantation procedure.

Submit a related abstract. 

Skin Ageing & Challenges 2022
November 17-18, 2022 – Lisbon, Portugal

Mitochondria-Targeted Hydrogen Sulfide Delivery Molecules Against Photoaging

News Release, Skin Aging & Challenges – August 8, 2022

Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction play a role in the process of skin photoaging via activation of matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) and the subsequent degradation of collagen. The activation of nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a transcription factor controlling antioxidant and cytoprotective defense systems, might offer a pharmacological approach to prevent skin photoaging.

Dr. Panich et al. investigated a pharmacological approach to prevent skin photoaging, and also investigated a protective effect of the novel mitochondria-targeted hydrogen sulfide (H2S) delivery molecules AP39 and AP123, and nontargeted control molecules, on ultraviolet A light (UVA)-induced photoaging in normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDFs) in vitro and the skin of BALB/c mice in vivo.

They reported:

In NHDFs, AP39 and AP123 (50–200 nM) but not nontargeted controls suppressed UVA (8 J/cm2)-mediated cytotoxicity and induction of MMP-1 activity, preserved cellular bioenergetics, and increased the expression of collagen and nuclear levels of Nrf2.

In in vivo experiments, topical application of AP39 or AP123 (0.3–1 μM/cm2; but not nontargeted control molecules) to mouse skin before UVA (60 J/cm2) irradiation prevented skin thickening, MMP induction, collagen loss of oxidative stress markers 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), increased Nrf2-dependent signaling, as well as increased manganese superoxide dismutase levels and levels of the mitochondrial biogenesis marker peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator (PGC-1α).

 Thus targeting H2S delivery to mitochondria may represent a novel approach for the prevention and treatment of skin photoaging, as well as being useful tools for determining the role of mitochondrial H2S in skin disorders and aging. 

© Photo CopyrightRead the full review.

Dr. Panich will be discussing the results of this brilliant study during Skin Ageing & Challenges 2022 Congress. Reserve your spot.

Skin Ageing & Challenges 2022
November 17-18, 2022 – Lisbon, Portugal

Making Electronic Skin for Interactive Robots: New Materials & Advances

 NAO Humanoid Robot with multi-modal artificial skin, at the Institute for Cognitive Systems, TUM- Germany

News Release, Skin Aging & Challenges – July 19, 2022

Flexible electronics have huge potential to bring revolution in robotics and prosthetics as well as to bring about the next big evolution in the electronics industry. In robotics and related applications, it is expected to revolutionize the way with which machines interact with humans, real-world objects, and the environment.

The conformable electronic or tactile skin on robot’s body, enabled by advances in flexible electronics, will allow safe robotic interaction during physical contact of robot with various objects. Developing a conformable, bendable and stretchable electronic system requires distributing electronics over large non-planar surfaces and movable components.

The current research focus in this direction is marked by the use of novel materials or by the smart engineering of the traditional materials to develop new sensors, electronics on substrates that can be wrapped around curved surfaces. Attempts are being made to achieve flexibility/stretchability in e-skin while retaining a reliable operation.

Dahiya et al. provide insight into various materials that have been used in the development of flexible electronics primarily for e-skin applications.

In addition to mechanical robustness, the choice of the material is also influenced by the application. The use of smart structural engineering techniques would enable the use of well-established silicon technology to develop flexible and stretchable e-skin sensors. Furthermore, sensors developed via these technique would enable better system integration thus aiding easy integration with circuits of data collection, signal condition and processing of the received data.

Novel materials such as nanowires, carbon nanotubes and graphene exhibit excellent mechanical and electrical properties which are critical parameters for the development of e-skin sensors.

In addition to passive sensors, developed via various transduction mechanisms, development of transistors using the novel material are highly desirable as it would enable the development of active circuit matrix for large-scale sensing with low power consumption. It will also enable easier readout circuit and individual access to devices. Development of Field Effect Transistor using the novel material is challenging due to various aspects. 

Organic materials are also desirable for the development of flexible components for e-skin due to low cost. 

In conclusion, recent developments have led to e-skin sensors exceeding sensitivity of human skins in terms of detection of human skin. Although there are many issues yet to be addressed, the progress in the development trend in e-skin suggest that humanoid equipped with flexible and stretchable will be possible in near future.

© Photo Copyright: Read the full review.

Skin Ageing & Challenges 2022 Congress will introduce the latest technologies and discoveries in E-skin. Reserve your spot.

Skin Ageing & Challenges 2022
November 17-18, 2022 – Lisbon, Portugal

In-vivo Skin Cancer Diagnosis via Real-Time High-Resolution Millimeter-Wave Imaging

Schematic of the developed ultra-wideband millimeter-wave imaging system for real-time in-vivo skin cancer imaging.

News Release, Skin Aging & Challenges – July 11, 2022

High-resolution millimeter-wave imaging (HR-MMWI), with its high discrimination contrast and sufficient penetration depth, can potentially provide affordable tissue diagnostic information noninvasively. Mirbeik et al. evaluated the application of a real-time system of HR-MMWI for in-vivo skin cancer diagnosis.

  • 136 benign and malignant skin lesions from 71 patients, including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, actinic keratosis, melanocytic nevi, angiokeratoma, dermatofibroma, solar lentigo, and seborrheic keratosis were measured.
  • Lesions were classified using a 3-D principal component analysis followed by five classifiers including linear discriminant analysis (LDA), K-nearest neighbor (KNN) with different K-values, linear and Gaussian support vector machine (LSVM and GSVM) with different margin factors, and multilayer perception (MLP).

Obtained results suggested that the best classification was achieved by using five PCA components followed by MLP with 97% sensitivity and 98% specificity.

Thus, real-time millimeter-wave imaging can be used to distinguish malignant tissues from benign skin lesions with high diagnostic accuracy comparable with clinical examination and other methods.

Article DOI.

Skin Ageing & Challenges 2022 Congress will introduce the latest technologies and discoveries for diagnosing various skin conditions. Reserve your spot.

Skin Ageing & Challenges 2022
November 17-18, 2022 – Lisbon, Portugal

Extracellular Vesicles: Potential Theranostic Platforms for Skin Diseases and Aging

Conceptual overview of EVs and their associated effects on skin

News Release, Skin Aging & Challenges – July 8, 2022

Extracellular vesicles (EVs), naturally secreted by cells, act as mediators for communication between cells. They are transported to the recipient cells along with cargoes such as nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids that reflect the changes occurring within the parent cells.

EVs have been recognized as potential theranostic agents for diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. In particular, the evidence accumulated to date suggests an important role of EVs in the initiation and progression of skin aging and various skin diseases, including psoriasis, systemic lupus erythematosus, vitiligo, and chronic wounds.

This review by Kim et al. highlights recent research that investigates the role of EVs and their potential as biomarkers and therapeutic agents for skin diseases and aging.

It covers:

  • The role and theranostic potential of extracellular vesicles in skin diseases
  • The role and theranostic/Cosmetic Applications of Extracellular Vesicles in Skin Aging

  • Topical Delivery Systems for Extracellular Vesicles

Read Full Review

Dr. Sun Hwa Kim , the corresponding author, will be joining Skin Ageing & Challenges 2022 Congress to share her latest work on this matter.

Skin Ageing & Challenges 2022
November 17-18, 2022 – Lisbon, Portugal



Healthy skin

Fungal Skin Microbiota is Discovered in Healthy Subjects

News Release, Skin Aging & Challenges – June 29, 2022

Beneficial microorganisms on the skin contribute to the first line of defense against attacking pathogens. However, instability of the skin microbiota is associated with skin diseases. Hence, temporal analyses are crucial because they serve as a baseline to understand the development of dysbiosis in disease.

A recent study by Bettina Schmid et al. aimed to improve the understanding of the fungal skin microbiota, the mycobiota, in healthy subjects.

To do so, skin swabs were taken monthly for a year from four different skin sites, that is, antecubital crease, dorsal neck, glabella, and vertex, and analyzed by DNA sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer 1 region. The mycobiota on the skin was dominated by the class Malasseziomycetes, and the core community was composed of Malassezia restricta, M. globosa, and M. sympodialis at all skin sites. Over the period of 1 year, the intrapersonal mycobiota remained largely stable, with some fluctuations of low abundant non-Malassezia fungi.

The researchers concluded that despite fluctuations of low abundant classes, fungal skin communities form a temporally robust and individual fingerprint in healthy subjects.

Dr. Philipp Bosshard will be further develop the relationship between fungal skin microbiota and healthy skin during Skin Ageing & Challenges 2022 this November.

Read more.

© Image- master1305 –

Electronic skin

Microelectronic Skins: A New Revolution?

Ulsan National Institute’s electronic skin

News Release, Skin Aging & Challenges – June 29, 2022

Magnetic sensors are widely used in our daily life for assessing the position and orientation of objects. Recently, the magnetic sensing modality has been introduced to electronic skins (e-skins), enabling remote perception of moving objects. However, the integration density of magnetic sensors is limited and the vector properties of the magnetic field cannot be fully explored since the sensors can only perceive field components in one or two dimensions.

A recent study by Christian Becker and colleagues reported an approach to fabricate high-density integrated active matrix magnetic sensor with three-dimensional (3D) magnetic vector field sensing capability. The 3D magnetic sensor is composed of an array of self-assembled micro-origami cubic architectures with biased anisotropic magnetoresistance (AMR) sensors manufactured in a wafer-scale process. Integrating the 3D magnetic sensors into an e-skin with embedded magnetic hairs enables real-time multidirectional tactile perception.

The researchers demonstrate a versatile approach for the fabrication of active matrix integrated 3D sensor arrays using micro-origami and pave the way for new electronic devices relying on the autonomous rearrangement of functional elements in space.

By merging e-skin, micro-origami, active electronics and proper sensor technologies together, this approach frames a general strategy for the fabrication and high-density integration of 3D sensors for vector field detection far beyond the sensing of a magnetic field.

This topic will be further elaborated by Prof. Oliver Schmidt who will join Skin Ageing & Challenges 2022 this November! Stay tuned to learn more about e-skins and other innovations.

Read the full article.

Skin rejuvenation

Topical Platelet Exosomes: New Strategy for Skin Rejuvenation

News release, Skin Ageing & Challenges – 23 June 2022

Exosomes are regenerative mediators for skin rejuvenation. In the context of aesthetic medicine, platelets are an ideal source for exosomal isolation given their role in skin healing. Human platelet extract (HPE) is an allogeneic exosome product derived from US-sourced, leukocyte-reduced apheresed platelets with consistent purity and potency.

This recent study aimed to better characterize the safety and tolerability of novel human platelet extract (plated) Intensive Repair Serum, and its maximal effects on skin rejuvenation at 6 weeks. Structured sub-analysis evaluated multifactorial improvement in skin health following standardized skin care regimen to determine the maximal effect. Evaluation at baseline and 6-weeks included subject questionnaires and photodocumentation.

The results showed quantifiable and statistically significant improvements in overall skin health (“Skin Health Score” or SHS). A greater score correlated to greater overall skin health and there was a statistically significant mean delta improvement in SHS at 6-weeks compared to baseline. This correlated to reduction in redness, wrinkles, and melanin production across all cosmetic units and significant improvements in luminosity and color evenness.

The authors concluded that a topically applied platelet-derived exosome product, human platelet extract, induced normalization to skin health at 4-6 weeks with improved various clinical measures of facial photodamage and cutaneous aging. It is safe, well-tolerated, and well-liked by subjects.

A special session on Exosomes, Extracellular Vesicles and Skin Ageing will be covered during Skin Ageing & Challenges 2022 congress this November. 

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