Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

ELAST-AGE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 18960
Funded under: FP6-LIFESCIHEALTH
Country: France

Smoothing out the wrinkles in ageing treatments

An ageing tissues–focused project helped achieve better understanding of the life cycle of elastic tissues. Knowledge generated stands to impact skin and vessel ageing treatments, and eventually, improvement on capacity for healing.
Smoothing out the wrinkles in ageing treatments
Many diseases associated with ageing involve tissue disorganisation that is accompanied by loss of tissue elasticity, as well as a host of physiological, mechanical and social consequences. Other related dysfunctions include affected breathing, regulation of pulse pressure and, therefore, heart functioning, arteriosclerosis, hypertension and glaucoma.

The 'Targeting the elastic tissues ageing to improve the quality of ageing' (Elast-age) project studied ageing of elastic tissue in order to advance efforts aimed at helping the human body cope with ageing, or at least some of its manifestations. The EU-funded initiative aimed to uncover 'positive modulators' of elastic tissue ageing for protection and even possible re-induction of optimal elastogenesis.

Partners focused on understanding the life cycle of elastic tissues, from formation to degradation, and the basis of their biomechanical properties. The consortium succeeded in defining how elastic fibres assemble as well as identifying the main sites of their degradation. Such insights are significant for efforts aiming to pinpoint protective molecules with the potential to limit the degradation of elastic fibres.

Elast-age highlighted markers of ageing and ageing of elastic tissues in cell models. This information will boost subsequent efforts to discover what is missing in adult cells and tissues that is present in young and developing elastic tissues. Study data highlighted the complex nature of elastic fibre formation in tissue culture models — a development leading to proposals for various means of positively affecting tissue engineering. This knowledge could be used to improve the biomechanical properties of biomaterials; one activated collagen scaffold has already been patented and is set for market availability.

The study's use of new infrared multiphoton laser scanning microscopy (NIR-LSM) technology to investigate tissue samples promises to be of great interest to all concerned. The availability of such tools will prove beneficial for testing substances that could delay and treat various manifestations of ageing.

Experimental results showed that dill extract is efficient in re-inducing elastogenesis on skin fibroblasts from adult donors. As a result, one consortium partner proceeded with the launch of dill extract in the cosmetics market.

Elast-age outcomes identified innovative markers, models and procedures with promise for maintaining the elastic properties of an ageing body, as well as for bioengineering purposes.

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