Joint development of 3D model of dermal microtissue
During ageing, human skin undergoes profound alterations of its biomechanical properties, and more particularly a loss of elasticity that results in skin sagging.
Dermal elastic fibres represent the primary components that support tissue compliance and
resilience. But as time goes by, their organisation and functionality decline, which makes them a preferred target for cosmetic anti-ageing strategies.
The current 3D bioengineered skin substitutes, which are easily available on the market, are still defective models to study skin elasticity. Indeed, they contain exogenous and artificial matrices that bias the measurement of biomechanical properties in the reconstructed tissue. So, there is a need to develop advanced models to investigate the mechanical structure of a tissue such as human skin.
3D scaffold-free microtissues were developed by Gattefossé laboratories to mimic in vitro an elastic tissue, which is responsible for intrinsic elastic properties of the dermis. To accurately evaluate the elasticity of such skin microtissues, Gattefossé chose BioMeca’s expertise for developing innovative analytical assessment with state-of-the-art technologies.
3D scaffold-free spheroids take advantage of the ability of cells to secrete their own extracellular matrix to ultimately recreate their own microenvironment. This technology enabled Gattefossé to produce in vitro hundreds of 3D microtissues within a few days only using dermal fibroblasts aggregated in ultra-low affinity plates.
The elastic modulus (or Young modulus) was then measured using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and the elastic fibers were visualised by Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) imaging microscopy. Gattefossé and BioMeca thus demonstrated that the 3D spheroid microtissue is a relevant and reliable model with a complex organisation, comprising a dense, mature elastic fibre network sufficiently extensive to mimic in vitro dermal elastic mechanics.
This advanced 3D model has been successfully used to measure the efficacy of EleVastin a novel active ingredient developed by Gattefossé, fighting against age-related loss of skin elasticity.