Defying gravity: In vivo 3D mapping of astronauts' skin


Researchers discuss high tech imaging techniques for skin and hair at IFSCC

Every year, cosmetic scientists, dermatologists and representatives from leading cosmetics, fragrance and personal care companies gather to discuss the year’s most important developments in the field. The 2015 International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists IFSCC Conference: ‘More facts, less illusions’, took place on 21-23 September in Zurich, hosted by the Swiss Society of Cosmetic Chemists, with more than 600 attendees from 40 countries.

This year’s meeting did not disappoint, with presentations on a wide range of key areas, including several on advances in skin science and hair biology; how to best visualise skin cells and layers; a comparison of in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro analysis methods; and increased understanding of several complex skin and hair systems, Erika Hatva reports.

Visualising the skin

It is easy to see intracellular details of cells and across skin sections under a microscope – after the tissue has been removed from its donor, sliced, pickled in formaldehyde (or some other fixing protocol) and labelled to differentiate structures.

A variety of in vivo medical imaging techniques allow scientists and clinicians to see inside the body, but usually require labelling of tissues via cellular uptake of dye, the use of radioactive tracers, or exposure of the patient to ionising radiation.

The holy grail of imaging for cosmetic scientists is to be able to circumvent changes induced in skin as a result of biopsying and fixation, and see – in highly accurate 3D detail – unaltered cellular detail, structures of the skin, subcutaneous layers of living cells and how these tissues react microscopically to applied products....

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