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Animal collagen is commonly extracted from bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) bone or skin, and must be kept at cold temperatures to maintain its molecular integrity, and be able to impact cell function. Refrigerated animal source collagen is the most viable therapeutic collagen with all of its properties intact, which makes it superior to plant collagen when treating aging. Animal collagen is commonly used in dermal fillers for facial enhancement, and is used topically for skin rejuvenation.
Cosmetic Applications; Plant Collagen vs. Animal Collagen
Plant collagen is contained in cosmetics and is made by modifying polysaccharides through fermentation of yeast. They are heated and denatured simple proteins in the form of gelatins, (hydrolyzed collagen) which can exist at room temperatures, and are biologically inactive in the skin. In clinical studies, hydrolyzed collagen can actually inhibit fibroblast production of collagen in the skin.
What is Atelocollagen?
Atelocollagen is a purified animal source collagen where the telopeptide has been removed so there is no immune reaction, but must be kept refrigerated in order to maintain its efficacy. Atelocollagen can be used topically, and is ideal in tissue regeneration and to treat aging skin conditions.
Removing the Antigen
In a Type I collagen molecule, there are antigenic formations called telopeptides at the end of the protein which consists of amino acids. This peptide sequence is unique to each individual. Atelocollagen is a purified animal source collagen where the telopeptide has been removed so there is no immune reaction.
Human Collagen Network
Animal collagen such as bovine or porcine is most like human collagen, and is commonly used to treat facial aging. Atelocollagen is a purified animal source that combines hyaluronic acid for synergistic therapy, to stimulate dermal fibroblasts and collagen remodeling.
Challenges of Type I Collagen Penetration
Collagen Type I; pH Restrictions
Type I collagen is typically dissolved in an acid solution of less than pH 4.0. This creates many restrictions for collagen used as a cosmetic material, which requires a pH 5.5 – pH 6.5.
Large Molecule, Lack of Negative Ionic Charge
General collagen is not easily absorbed into the skin by topical application. This is due to its larger molecular size and lack of negative ionic charge.
Normal Skin vs. Aged Skin
Normal skin has a negative ionic charge, while the cellular membrane of aged skin develops an increased positive ionic charge.
Succinylation; Ionization of Collagen Type I Molecule
Researchers have enhanced the hydrophilic properties of Type I atelocollagen through succinylation, deriving a negative ionization of the molecule. Improved osmosis of purified atelocollagen is achieved when negatively ionized collagen creates an electrostatic interaction with the skin. In this way, absorbed negatively ionized collagen penetrates deep into the dermal and basal tissue, increasing proliferation of the body’s own collagen, and helping to activate dermal cell regeneration.
For active, viable collagen to maintain its integrity and structure, it must be kept between 39-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Active collagen loses its therapeutic properties as temperatures increase, causing the amino acids to denature and break down. Most collagen preparations are manufactured at high temperatures and distributed at room temperature. Collagen preparations distributed at room temperatures are called “hydrolyzed collagen” or “gelatin”. Gelatin products advertised as collagen in cosmetic creams and lotions are just simple proteins which may hydrate the skin, but lack the biologically active properties of true collagen. Hydrolyzed collagen actually inhibits fibroblast production of collagen in the skin.
Benefits of Atelocollagen
Normal skin has a negative ionic charge, while the cellular membrane of aged skin develops an increased positive ionic charge. Researchers have enhanced the hydrophilic properties of Type I atelocollagen through succinylation, deriving a negative ionization of the molecule. In this way, absorbed negatively ionized collagen penetrates deep into the dermal and basal tissue, increasing proliferation of the body’s own collagen, and helping to activate dermal cell regeneration.
Topical atelocollagen that has been formulated by the succinylation process can drastically improve signs of aging and is ideal post-operative chemical exfoliation, layered peels, microneedling, or ablative laser procedures.
Dr. Loren Pickart is one of the most impressive scientists not only in the medical field, but also in the clinical cosmetic field. His discoveries have forever changed medical science in tissue regeneration and anti-aging medicine. His company, Skin Biology, was the first to use the GHK-Cu copper peptide science in a topical cosmeceutical. Other companies have included the GHK-Cu copper peptide science offering outstanding clinical applications to practitioners.
The human copper-binding peptide GHK-Cu (glycyl-l-histidyl-l-lysine) is a small, naturally occurring tri-peptide present in human plasma. In plasma, the level of GHK-Cu is about 200 ng/ml at age 20. By the age of 60, the level of GHK decrease as you age and drops to 80 ng/ml. Scientific studies conducted in different research laboratories around the world have established that human tri-peptide GHK-Cu possesses a plethora of biological actions including activation of wound healing, attraction of immune cells, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, stimulation of collagen and glycosaminoglycan synthesis in skin fibroblasts, and promotion of blood vessel growth. Recent studies indicate its important role in stem cell biology and anti-tumor defense. Since GHK-Cu plays an important role in skin biology, it is widely used in cosmetics as a reparative and anti-aging ingredient.
GHK-Cu Copper Peptide
Growth factors are a heterogeneous group of proteins that regulate the growth and differentiation of various cell types, some of which specifically target neurons. Growth factor proteins regulate many aspects of cellular function including cell survival, proliferation, migration and differentiation.
In the body, all cells produce growth factors which contribute to the health of the cell, and can be derived from skin cells, bone marrow stem cells, fat stem cells, or extracted from blood plasma known as platelet rich plasma (PRP). Advances in biotechnology have created multiple sources of growth factors that are derived from several different human cells grown in a laboratory.
Dr. Ahmed Al-Qahtani was inspired to start AQ Skin Solutions by his extensive work in medical applications of growth factors for healing wounded tissue and creating artificial skin grafts. He applied his knowledge and experience in growth factor biotechnology to develop a process for producing the highest quality growth factor media available, which contains only those growth factors that have been identified as the most effective for improving the appearance of skin.
Dr. Al-Qahtani is renowned for employing the latest research and technology to pioneer medical breakthroughs for regenerating diseased organ tissue. Combining research with his advanced clinical knowledge, he has introduced some of the most innovative skin care products in the world.
Dr. Gail Naughton was a pioneer in the studies of human growth factors and regenerative medicine. Her outstanding research stimulates the body’s own stem cells to regenerate tissues without the use of embryonic stem cells or animal components. Her scientific studies demonstrated hypoxia-induced (low oxygen) multipotent cells can act as pluripotent cells found in the embryonic environment. The Regenica clinical skin care contains her human growth factor technology which is ideal for tissue regeneration, renewal of fibroblasts and collagen, and anti-aging medicine.
Dr. Ahmed Al-Qahtani Growth Factor Science
Dr. Gail Naughton Hypoxic Growth Factor Science