Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel have successfully produced a replica of human collagen from genetically modified tobacco plants, potentially having tremendous commercial implications for use in various medical procedures.
Collagen is the most prevalent protein in the human body and provides texture, resiliency and shape in human’s skin. It is found throughout the body in skin, muscle, tendons and bones. Collagen fibers weave together like threads in fabrics to form a framework where new cells can grow.
Today, collagen is commercially produced from cows, pigs and even human cadavers (but poses different health and ethical issues). It is used in a variety of surgical implants and wound healing devices. The commercial collagen market in the U.S. currently exceeds $30 billion annually.
Creating human recombinant type I pro-collagen requires the coordinated expression of five different genes. Dr. Oded Shoseyov of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has the only laboratory in the world that has been successful at this co-expression. His findings have been patented and the scientific findings behind it were recently published in the Biomacromolecules journal.
The new collagen has also seen a lot interest among investors and commercial producers – already raising $15 million to bring it to market.
This discovery could potentially revolutionize various aesthetic treatments we offer at our Gainesville plastic surgery clinic. Dermal fillers like these are a great way to smooth out wrinkles and lines on your face that appear over time. Weather, time, gravity and other factors cause your face to lose its fullness as you age.
Synthetic collagens like Cosmoplast, Cosmoderm, Artefil and this newest discovery help restore your youthful look with minimal invasiveness.