Degenerative skin diseases affect one third of individuals over the age of sixty. Current therapies use various physical and chemical methods to rejuvenate skin; but since the therapies affect many tissue components including cells and extracellular matrix, they may also induce significant side effects, such as scarring. Here we report on a new, non-invasive, non-thermal technique to rejuvenate skin with pulsed electric fields. The fields destroy cells while simultaneously completely preserving the extracellular matrix architecture and releasing multiple growth factors locally that induce new cells and tissue growth. We have identified the specific pulsed electric field parameters in rats that lead to prominent proliferation of the epidermis, formation of microvasculature, and secretion of new collagen at treated areas without scarring. Our results suggest that pulsed electric fields can improve skin function and thus can potentially serve as a novel non-invasive skin therapy for multiple degenerative skin diseases.
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