New microscope technology revolutionizes skin-aging research
Beiersdorf cooperates with Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, Professor Stefan Hell
- Further advancement with the Nobel Prize winning STED technology allows new findings on skin aging
- Research is the basis for the development of skin care products that can stop or reverse the structural changes of the skin
The awarding of the Nobel Prizes on December 10th will be cause for special celebration this year for Beiersdorf researchers because this time the highest scientific prize will also be given to a cooperation partner of the NIVEA producer: Professor Stefan Hell, Director of the Göttingen Max Planck Institute for biophysical chemistry will be awarded with the Nobel Prize in chemistry along with Eric Betzig and William Moerner from the U.S. for the groundbreaking invention of STED microscopy.
“We have been cooperating for three years as part of a state sponsored joint research project with microscope and camera manufacturers as well as the Max Planck Institute. We will continue to work with Stefan Hell on the Nobel Prize winning technology,” says Dr. Frank Fischer, Head of Beiersdorf Research Lab Microscopy.GSDIM Microscope Enables New Insight into Cellular Structural Changes
The result of this collaboration is the “Cutting Edge GSDIM Technology,” a method with which the researchers can very precisely observe cellular processes. “GSDIM stands for ‘Ground State Depletion followed by Individual Molecule Return Microscopy’. This process has the advantage of representing cells with more exactness due to the lasers and fluorescent dyes used. This makes a very sharp view into living skin cells possible,” says Dr. Fischer. “Beiersdorf hopes to gain new insight into the complex processes of skin aging and to research how cellular structure changes through aging. With GSDIM we can represent extremely small – as small as a couple of nanometer – cellular structural changes in living cells. This way we can learn from skin exactly what happens when it changes.”Stopping or Reversing Structural Changes in the Skin
The goal of Dr. Fischer and his team’s work with the GSDIM microscope is to find out how age-dependent structural changes of the skin can be stopped or even reversed with cosmetic treatment. The findings gathered thus far are promising: “We have succeeded in the targeted marking of the structures of the cellular supporting frame and the substructures of connective tissues as well as the power plants of the cells, the mitochondria and to represent them on living cells – this is a great step for skin research,” says Dr. Fischer.About the Joint Research Project GSDIM
The joint research project GSDIM is part of the funding initiative “Optical Technologies in the Live Sciences – the Fundamentals of Cellular Functions” of the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). The goal of this initiative is to support German companies and research institutes in preparing innovative optical technologies for the life sciences. So far the activities of the BMBF have led to the German industry and research environment taking a leading role in this area. The initiative is intended to help companies to further exploit the enormous market potential and to maintain an international top position in worldwide competition in order to create innovation and growth in Germany. Some important criteria for support are scientific and technical excellence, implementation strategies as well as the pertinence of the contribution to solving current socially relevant problems such as aging. For Beiersdorf skin aging is especially interesting in this regard. The participants of the joint research project are aware of the necessity of bringing together diverse scientific disciplines. Physical principles, microscopic technology and chemical expertise for the production of suitable markers help to understand biological systems and structures thereby getting to the root of skin aging.
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