At a young age, skin looks smooth and radiant. The interlinked fibroblasts and the extracellular matrix with its strong network of collagen fiber bundles provide hold and elasticity to the skin. With age, skin increasingly loses its mechanical stability, collagen levels of the skin decrease: The existing collagen is degraded by the enzyme collagenase. At the same time, the synthesis activities of the fibroblasts—important for the collagen production—decline. To improve skin appearance and firmness, collagen and hyaluronic acid are broadly used in skin care applications. However, they only bring a short-term effect. To provide alternative solutions, BASF—in partnership with CYTOO—is conducting research on new active ingredients with a more durable effect on skin firmness.
Recent research shows certain ingredients can stimulate the contractility of human fibroblasts (connective tissue cells) and thus improve skin appearance and firmness. To investigate more deeply, CYTOO developed FibroScreen™, a unique platform based on micro-patterning technology that allows the precise control of cell substrate geometry and stiffness.
As part of the cooperation, BASF und CYTOO will combine their expertise and resources to work on new cell-based assays, to enhance the methodological evaluation of CYTOO’s FibroScreen platform and to identify new active compounds able to influence the contractility of human fibroblasts.
“We are proud that, together with BASF, we can explore the effect of compounds on fibroblasts in the human skin," said Luc Selig, CEO of CYTOO.
"Thanks to this cooperation, we are able to strike a new path and identify new compounds that will help our customers to be more successful," said the responsible project manager at BASF, Valérie André-Frei.