Research Alert

Rockville, Md. (December 8, 2021)—Using pulsed laser light under tightly controlled conditions, researchers were able to see in the earlobe skin of anesthetized mice the sequence of cellular events that trigger the beneficial effects of intra-epidermal focal laser-based therapy. The findings are published in a new study in the journal Function. Cells in this layer, called basal keratinocytes, are of the stem cell moiety and absolutely crucial for the continuous renewal of the skin, which occurs throughout the life span. By studying the response of the skin in real time with sophisticated imaging technology, physiologists discovered the sole cell hit by the laser became the epicenter of a wave that spread radially from cell to cell. The wave then rippled in the concentration of ionized calcium (Ca2+) within the affected cells. Ca2+ waves are known to convey messages or instructions that are able to modify cell behavior, including the possibility to modify gene expression.

“These results may have significant implications for future device/procedure development,” said Fabio Mammano, PhD, study co-researcher from the University of Padova in Italy. “They may lead to better dosage and timing of the laser pulses, wavelength optimization and, importantly, selection and/or discovery of drugs that interfere with the signaling pathways we have identified to further enhance the production of extracellular matrix and collagen, as well as the replacement of scar tissue with fresh epidermal and dermal cellular components.”

Read the full article, “Calcium signaling in the photodamaged skin: in vivo experiments and mathematical modeling,” published ahead of print in Function. Contact APS Media Relations or call 301.634.7314 to schedule an interview with a member of the research team.

Journal Link: Function

Register for reporter access to contact details